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THE 

INTERNATIONA 
SPY 





BY ALLEN UPWARD 
(MONSIEUR A.V.) 




fffl 







HOOVER INSTITUTION 
on War, Revolution, and Peace 



VERNON K. SCHUMAN^ 



The 



International Spy 

BEING THE SECRET HISTORY 
OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR 



BY 

ALLEN ^UPWARD 

(** MoHsiiur A, V.'') 
AuTHOK OF " Undbkgkound Histoky," btc 



IllustraUi by F. X. Chamberlin 




G. W. DILLINGHAM COMPANY 

PUBLISHERS NEW YORK 



. ; f' 



COPTBIOHT, 1904, 1905« BT 
THE PEARSON PUBLISHING 00. 

Copyright, 1905, by 
G. W. DILLINGHAM COMPANT. 



Metered at Stationers' Hall, 



ihe International Spy. 



CONTENTS 



I. 

n. 

m. 

IV. 

V. 

VI. 

vn. 
vm. 

IX. 

X. 

XI. 

xn. 
xm. 

XIV. 

XV. 

XVI. 

xvn. 

XVHL 
XDL 

XXI. 

xxn. 
xxm. 

XXIV. 



PAftm 

Pbologxtb—Thb Two EacPBisaaB ... 9 

The IsrsTBucnoNB of Monbdbub V— - • 17 

Thb Pbingbss Y ^'fl Hun* ... 24 

The Head of the Manghubian Ststdigatb . 36 

The Czab's Atjtoorafh • ... 45 

A DiNNEB With the Enemy ... 54 

Dbugged and Eidnappbd .... 63 

The Rage fob Sibebia .... 71 

The Czab's Messaoe 76 

The Betbothal of Delilah ... 87 

The Anbweb OF THE Mikado .... 96 

Who Smoked the Gbeqobides Bband . . 107 

The Secseiet Ssbyige of Japan . . . 113 

His Impebial Hiohness .... 123 

The Submabine Mine 130 

The Adtisob of Nicholas n . • • 139 

A Stbangb Confession .... 145 

A SUFEBNATUBAL InODENT .... 159 

The Mystebt of a Woman .... 169 

The Sfibit of Madame Blayatbkt • . 180 

The Devil's Auction 192 

The Funbbal 199 

A Pbbilous Moment 210 

A RasuBBxcnoN and a QHoerr • • . 217 

A Sbgemt EzBCunoN . • • • • 224 



Contents 



TABM 

XXV. A Chanob of Identitt .... 233 

XXVI. Trapped 240 

XXVn. The Baltic Fleet 246 

XXVin. On the Track 256 

XXIX. An Imperial Fanatic .... 264 

XXX. The Stolen Subbiarinb .... 272 

XXXI. The Kiel Canal 279 

XXXn. The Dogger Bank 287 

XXXm. Trafalgar Day 292 

XXXIV. The Familt Statute .... 300 

Epilogue 308 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Amid a Breathless Silence, with all the Room Watgh- 
iNQ MY Movements, I Tore Open Mt Shibt-tbont and 
Extracted a Paper .... Frontispiece 

"You Mat Leave Us, Princess/' the Empress Said 
Coldly 48 

I Leaned and Gazed Forward with Dull Eyes, When 
I WAS Aware of two Red Sparks . . . .75 

The Head of the Manchurian Syndicate Walked in, 
HIS Smile Chanoinq to a Dark Frown . . . 158 

In a Moment the Locket was Lifted from my Chest, 
AND Forced Open with a Metallic Click . . 209 

*'I Don't Believe ItI" 243 



\ 




The International Spy 



XKB TWO BMFBBSSIS 

^OOKI" 

A fair, delicatelj-molded hand, on 
which glittered gems worth a raja'a 
loyalty, was extended in the direc- 
tion of the sea. 
Half a mile out, where the light ripplea melted 
away into a blue and white haze upon the wat^r, a. 
small black smudge, like the back of a porpoise, 
seemed to be sliding along the surface. 

But it was not a porpoise, for out of it there rose a 
thin, black shaft, scarcely higher than a flag-staff, and 
from the top of this thin shaft there trickled a faint 
wreathing line of smoke, just visible against the back- 
ground of sky and sea. 

" It is a submarine I What is it doing there ? " 
The exclamation, followed by the question, came 
from the second, perhaps the fairer, of two women 
of gracioaB and beautiful presence, who were pacing, 

" The snthor desiies to state that this hietorj abonld be read as 
ft work of Imagination altnplf , aod not as authentic. 



The International Spy 



arm linked in arm, along a marble terrace overlooking 
a famous northern strait. 

The terrace on which they stood formed part of a 
stately palace, built by a king of the North who loved 
to retire in the summer time from his bustling capital, 
and gather his family around him in this romantic 
home. 

From here, as from a watch-tower, could be seen 
the fleets of empires, the crowded shipping of 
many a rich port and the humbler craft of the fisher- 
man, passing and repassing all day long between the 
great inland sea of the North and the broad western 
ocean. 

Along this narrow channel had once swept the 
long ships of the Vikings, setting forth on those ter- 
rible raids which devastated half Europe and planted 
colonies in England and France and far-off Italy. 
But to-day the scene was a scene of peace. The mar- 
tial glory of the Dane had departed. The royal 
castle that stood there as if to guard the strait had 
become a rendezvous of emperors and queens and 
princes, who took advantage of its quiet precincts 
to lay aside the pomp of rule, and perhaps to bind 
closer those alliances of sovereigns which serve to 
temper the fierce rivalries of their peoples. 

The pair who stood gazing, one with curiosity and 

wonder, the other with an interest of a more painful 

character, at the sinister object on the horizon, were 

10 



TTie Two Empresses 



imperial sisters. Bom in the tiny sea kingdom, they 
had lived to wear the crowns of the greatest two 
realms the world has ever seen, two empires which 
between them covered half the surface of our planet, 
and included one-third of its inhabitants. 

But though sundered in interests they were not 
divided in affection. As they stood side by side, still 
linked together, it was evident that no common sym- 
pathy united them. 

The one who had been first to draw attention to 
the mysterious craft, and whose dress showed somber 
touches which spoke of widowhood, answered her 
sister^s question: 

" I never see one of those vessels without a shud- 
der. I have an instinct which warns me that they 
are destined to play a dangerous, perhaps a fatal, 
part in the future. What is that boat doing here, in 
Danish waters ? — ^I do not know. But it can be here 
for no good. If a war ever broke out in which we 
were concerned, the Sound would be our first line of 
defense on the west. It would be mined, by us, per- 
haps; if not, by our enemy. Who can tell whether 
that submarine has not been sent out by some Power 
which is already plotting against peace, to explore the 
bed of the strait, with a view to laying down mines 
hereafter ? '' 

The other Empress listened with a grave coun- 
tenance. 

11 



The International Sptf 



" I hope your fears are not well founded. I can 
think of no Power that is ever likely to attack you. 
It is my nephew, or rather those who surround him, 
from whom the signal for war is likely to come, if it 
ever does come/' 

The widowed Empress bowed her head. 

" Tou know what my hopes and wishes are," she 
answered, " If my son listened to me there would 
be no fear of his departing from the peaceful ways 
of my dear husband. But there are secret influences 
always at work, as stealthy in their nature as that 
very craft " 

The speaker paused as she glanced 'round in search 
of the black streak and gray smoke-wreath which had 
attracted her notice a minute before. But she looked 
in vain. 

Like a phantom the submarine had disappeared^ 
leaving no trace of its presence. 

The Empress uttered an ejaculation of dismay, 
which was echoed by her sister. 

"Where is it now? Where did it go? Has it 
sunk, or has it gone back to where it came from ? " 

To these questions there could be no answer. The 
smooth waters glistened in the sunlight as merrily 
as if no threatening craft was gliding beneath the 
surface on some errand fraught with danger to the 
world. 

" Perhaps they saw they were observed, and dived 

12 



The Two Empresses 



under for conoealmenV^ suggested the second Em- 
press. 

Her sister sighed gently. 

"I was telling you that that submarine was a 
type of the secret dangers which beset us. I know, 
beyond all doubt, that there are men in the inner- 
most circle of the Court, men who have my son's 
ear, and can do almost what they like with him, who 
are at heart longing for a great war, and are always 
working underground to bring it about And if 
they succeed, and we are taken unprepared by a 
stronger foe, there will be a revolution which may; 
cost my son his throne, if not his life.'' 

There was a brief silence. Then the Empress 
who had Ustened to this declaration murmured in d 
low voice : 

"Heaven grant that the war is not one between 
you and us 1 " 

" Heaven grant it ! " was the fervent reply. And 
then, after a moment's reflection, the widowed Em- 
press added in an eager voice : 

" But we — cannot we do something to avert sucH 
a fearful calamity ? '^ 

Her sister pressed her arm as though to assure her 
of sympathy. 

"Tes, yes," the other continued. "We can do 
much if we wilL Though my son does not always 
take my advice^ he has never yet refused to listen to 



13 



The International Spy 



me. And in moments of grave stress he sometimes 
consults me of his own accord. And I know that 
you, too, have influence. Tour people worship you. 
Tour husband " 

The Western Empress interrupted gently: 

^^ I cannot play the part that you play. I do 
not claim the right to be consulted, or to give direct 
advice. Do not ask me to step outside my sphere. 
I can give information; I can be a channel some- 
times between your Court and ours, a channel which 
you can trust as I fear you cannot always trust your 
ministers and diplomatic agents. More than that I 
should not like to promise.^' 

"But that is very much/^ was the grateful re- 
sponse. " That may be quite enough. Provided 
we can arrange a code by which I can always com- 
municate with you safely and secretly, it may be 
possible to avert war at any time." 

" What do you propose ? " 

"It is very simple. If any crisis comes about 

through no fault of my son's — if the party who are 

conspiring to make a war arrange some unexpected 

coup which we could not foresee or prevent — and if 

I am sure that my son sincerely desires peace, I can 

send you a message — one word will be enough — ^which 

you can take as an assurance that we mean to put 

ourselves right with you, and to thwart the plotters/' 

The Western Empress bowed her head. 

14 



The JVco Empresses 



" I accept the mission. And the word — ^what shall 
it be?'' 

The other glanced 'round the horizon once more, 
and then, bending her lips to her imperial sister's 
ear, whispered a single word. 

The two great women who had just exchanged a 
pledge for the peace of the world were moving slowly 
along the terrace again, when the Western sister said, 
thoughtfully, 

" I think I know another way to aid you." 

The Eastern Empress halted, and gazed at her 
with eagerness. 

" I know the difliculties that surround you," her 
sister pursued, " and that the greatest of them all 
is having no one in your service whom you can en- 
tirely and absolutely trust." 

" That is so," was the mournful admission. 

" Now I have heard of a man — ^I have never 
actually employed him myself, but I have heard of 
him from those who have, and they tell me he is 
incorruptible. In addition, he is a man who has 
never experienced the sensation of fear, and his 
abilities are so great that he has been called in to 
solve almost every problem of international politics 
that has arisen in recent years." 

" But this man — ^how can he be obtained ? " 

"At present he is retained in our secret S3rvice. 
I must not conceal from you that he is partly a Pole 

15 



The International Spy 



by descent^ and as such he has no love for your Em- 
pire. But if it were made clear to him that in serv- 
ing you he was serving us, and defeating the designs 
of the anti-popular and despotic clique at your Court, 
I feel sure he would consent to place himself at your 
disposal/' 

The Eastern Empress listened intently to her sis- 
ter's words. At the close she said, 

" Thank you. I will try this man, if you can pre- 
vail on him to come to me. What is his name ? " 

" I expect you must have heard of him already. 
It is '' 

''Monsieur V f' 

The second Empress nodded. 

No more was said. 

The two imperial figures passed away along the ter- 
race, silhouetted against the red and stormy sunset 
sky, like two ministering spirits of peace brooding 
over a battlegroimd of blood* 




CHAPTER I 

TEE IHBTKUCnOWS OP MOZTSIEHB T — -- 

HE great monarch by whose graciona 
command I write this narrative haa 
given me hia permission to preface it 
with the following remarkable docu- 
ment: 

Minute: It is considered that it cannot but promote th« canse 
of peace and good nnderstanding between the British and Rnesian 

GoTemmeuts U Monsieur V be authorized to relate in the 

eolnmns of some publication enjojing a wide circulation, the 
steps bj which he was enabled to throw light on the occurcences in 
the North Sea. By th» CbMnet. 

In addition, I desire to state for the benefit of thoae 
who profess to see some impropriety in the introduc- 
tion of real names into a narrative of this kind, that 
objections precisely similar to theirs were long ago 
raised, and long ago disposed of, in the case of Par- 
liamentary reports, newspaper articles, society pa- 
pers, and comic publications of all kinds; and, fur- 
ther, that I have never received the slightest intima- 
tion that my literary methods were displeasing to 
the illustrious personages whom my narratives are 
intended to honor. 

3 17 



The International Spy 



With this apology I may be permitted to proceed. 

On a certain day in the winter which preceded the 
outbreak of war between Russia and Japan^ I re- 
ceived a summons to Buckingham Palace, London, 
to interview the Marquis of Bedale. 

I am unable to fix the precise date, as I have for- 
sworn the dangerous practice of keeping a diary ever 
since the head of the French police convinced me 
that he had deciphered a code telegram of mine to 
the Emperor of Morocco. 

The Marquis and I were old friends, and, antici- 
pating that I should find myself required to start 
immediately on some mission which might involve a 
long absence from my headquarters in Paris, I took 
my confidential secretary with me as far as the British 
capital, utilizing the time taken by the journey in 
instructing him how to deal with the various affairs 
I had in hand. 

I had just finished explaining to him the delicate 
character of the negotiation then pending between 
the new King of Servia and Prince Ferdinand of 
Bulgaria, when the train rolled into Charing Cross. 

Not wishing any one, however high in my confi- 
dence, to know too much of my movements, I ordered 
him to remain seated in the railway carriage, while 
I slipped out of the station and into the closed 
brougham for which I had telegraphed from Dover. 

I had said in the wire that I wished to be driven 

18 



The Instrtictions qf Monsieur V- 

to a hotel in Piccadilly. It was not till I found my- 
self in Cockspur Street that I pulled the check-string, 
and ordered the coachman to take me to Buckingham 
Palace. 

I mention these details in order to show that my 
precautions to insure secrecy are always of the most 
thorough character, so that, in fact, it would be quite 
impossible for any one to unveil my proceedings 
unless I voluntarily opened my lips. 

The instructions which I received from Lord 
Bedale were brief and to the point : 

" You are aware, of course. Monsieur V ^ that 

there is a possibility of war breaking out before long 
between Bussia and Japan." 

" It is more than a possibility, I am afraid, my 
lord. Things have gone so far that I do not believe 
it is any longer possible to avert war." 

His lordship appeared gravely concerned. 

" Do you tell me that it is too late for you to inter- 
fere with effect ? " he demanded anxiously. 

" Even for me," I replied with firmness. 

Lord Bedale threw at me a glance almost implor- 
ing in its entreaty. 

" If you were to receive the most ample powers, 

the most liberal funds; if you were to be placed in 

direct communication with one of the most exalted 

personages in the Court of St. Petersburg — ^would it 

still be impossible ? " 

19 



The International Spy 



I shook my head. 

" Tour lordship should have sent for me a fort- 
night ago. We have lost twelve days, that is to say, 
twelve battles." 

The Marquis of Bedale looked more and more dis- 
tressed. 

" At least you can try ? " he suggested. 

" I can try. But I am not omnipotent, my lord," 
I reminded him. 

He breathed a sigh of relief before going on to 
say: 

" But that is only the preliminary. Great Britain 
is bound to come to the assistance of Japan in cer- 
tain contingencies." 

" In the event of her being attacked by a second 
Power," I observed. 

"Precisely. I rely on you to prevent that con- 
tingency arising." 

" That is a much easier matter, I confess." 

" Then you undertake to keep the war from extend- 
ing to us ? " 

" I undertake to keep a second Power from attack- 
ing Japan," I answered cautiously. 

Lord Bedale was quick to perceive my reservation. 

" But in that case we cannot be involved, surely ? " 
he objected. 

" I cannot undertake to keep you from attacking 

Bussia," I explained grimly. 

20 



The Instructions qf Monsieur V- 



" But we should not dream of attacking her — > 
•without provocation," he returned, bewildered. 

" I fancy you wiU have a good deal of provocation," 
I retorted. 

"Why? What makes you think that?" he de- 
manded. 

I suspected that Lord Bedale was either sounding 
me, or else that he had not been taken into the full 
confidence of those for whom he was acting. 

I responded evasively : 

"There are two personages in Europe, neither of 
whom will leave one stone unturned in the effort to 
involve you in war with Russia." 

" And they are ? " 

Even as he put the question. Lord Bedale, as 
though acting unconsciously, raised one hand to his 
mustache, and gave it a pronounced upward twirl. 

" I see your lordship knows one of them," I re- 
marked "The other " 

He bent forward eagerly. 

"Tes? The other?" 

" The other is a woman." 

" A woman ? " 

He fell back in his chair in sheer surprise. 

" The other," I repeated in my most serious tone, 
" is a woman, perhaps the most formidable woman 
now living, not even excepting the Dowager Empress 
of China." 

21 



The International Spy 



" And her name ? " 

" Her name would tell you nothing/' 

" Still " 

^* If you really wish to hear it " 

" I more than wish. I urge you/' 

" Her name is the Princess T ." 

Scarcely had the name of this dangerous and des- 
perate woman passed my lips than I regretted having 
uttered it. 

Had I foreseen the perils to which I exposed my- 
self by that single slip I might have hesitated in going 
on with my enterprise. 

As it was I determined to tell the Marquis of Be- 
dale nothing more. 

" This business is too urgent to admit of a moment's 
unnecessary delay," I declared, rising to my feet. 
" If your lordship has no further instructions to give 
me, I will leave you." 

" One instant ! " cried Lord Bedale. " On arriv- 
ing in Petersburg you will go straight to report your- 
self to her majesty the Empress Dagmar." 

I bowed my head to conceal the expression which 
might have told his lordship that I intended to do 
nothing of the kind. 

" Tour credentials," he added with a touch of the- 
atricality, " will consist of a single word." 

" And that word ? " I inquired. 

He handed me a sealed envelope. 

22 



The Instructions qf Monsieur V 

" I do not myself know it. It is written on a piece 
of paper inside that envelope, and I have to ask you to 
open the envelope, read the word, and then destroy the 
paper in my presence." 

I shrugged my shoulders as I proceeded to break 
the seal. But no sooner did my eyes fall on the 
word within, and above all on the handwriting in 
which that word was written, than I experienced a 
sensation of admiring pleasure. 

" Tell the writer, if you please, my lord, that I 
am grateful for this mark of confidence, which I 
shall endeavor to deserve." 

I rolled up the paper into a tiny pellet, swallowed 
it, and left the room and the Palace without uttering 
another word. 



sa 



CHAPTER n 



TUB PBINOESS Y— 




1 NnVEH use the same Btratagem more 
than once. It ia to this rnle that I at- 
tribute mj Buccesa. 

On previous missiona to Hussia I 
had assumed the disguises of a 
French hanker, of the private secretary to Prince 
Napoleon, of an emissary from an Indian Maharaja, 
and of an Abyssinian Maduga. 

I now decided to go thither as an Englishman, or 
rather — for there is a distinctitai between the two — 
as a Little Englander. 

It appeared to me that no character could be more 
calculated to gain me the confidence of the Anglo- 
phobes of the Bussian Court I anticipated that they 
would smother me with attentions, and that from 
their hypocritical professions I should stand a good 
chance of learning what was actually in their minds. 

No sooner had I taken this decision, which was 
while the brougham was being driven along tiie Hall, 
than I gave the order " House." 



The Princess T 's Hint 



I was driven to the office of a well known review 
conducted by a journalist of boundless philanthropy 
and credulity, Mr. Place — as I will call him — ^waa 
within, and I at once came to business. 

" I am a Peace Crusader," I announced. " I have 
devoted myself to the sacred cause of which you are 
the foremost champion. At present war is threat- 
ened in the Far East. I am going to Russia to per- 
suade the war party to abandon their designs. I 
have come here to ask you for your aid and coun- 
tenance in this pious enterprise." 

The editor gave me a doubtful glance. 

" If it is a question of financial aid," he said not 
very encouragingly, " I must refer you to the treas- 
urer of the World's Peace League. I am afraid our 
friends " 

" No, no," I interrupted him. " It is not a ques- 
tion of funds. I am a wealthy man, and if you need 
a subscription at any time you have only to apply 
to me. What I desire is your moral support, your 
valuable advice, and perhaps a few introductions to 
the friends of peace in the Russian capital." 

The editor's face brightened. 

" Of course ! " he exclaimed in cordial tones. " I 
will support you with all my heart. I will write 
up your mission in the Review, and I will give you 
as many introductions as you need. What is your 
name, again ? " 

25 



The International Spy 



" Sterling. Mr. Melchisadek Sterling." 

The philanthropist nodded and touched a bell on 
his table. 

" I will give you a letter," he said, as his secretary 
came in and seated herself at the typewriter, " to 
the noblest creature I have ever met, a woman of 
high birth and immense fortune who has devoted her- 
self to the cause." 

And turning 'round in his chair he dictated to the 
attentive secretary : 

'' My dear Princess Y '' 



It needed all that command over my features which 
it has taken me twenty years to acquire to conceal the 
emotion with which I heard this name. Less than 
half an hour had passed since I had warned Lord 
Bedale that the Princess would be the most formidable 
enemy in my path, and now, on the very threshold of 
my enterprise, her name confronted me like an omen. 

I need not repeat the highly colored phrases in 
which the unsuspecting philanthropist commended me 
to this artful and formidable woman as a fellow- 
worker in the holy cause of human brotherhood. 

Not content with this service, the editor wanted 
to arrange a meeting of his league or brotherhood, or 
whatever it was, to give me a public send-off. As I 
understood that the meeting would partake of a re- 
ligious character I could not bring msyelf to accept 

the offer. 

26 



IMM 



The Princess Y 's Hint 



In addition to the letter to the Princess Y y he 

gave me another to a member of the staff of the 
Russian Embassy in London, a M. Gudonov. He 
also urged me to call upon a member of Parliament, 
a rising politician who is not unlikely to have a 
ministerial post in the next government, and who has 
made himself known as an apologist of the Czar's. 
But as I had good reason to know that this gentleman 
was by no means a disinterested dupe, like Mr. Place, 
I prudently left him alone. 

On going to the Russian Embassy to have my pass- 
port vised I inquired for M. Gudonov. 

The moment he entered the room I recognized him 
as one of the most unscrupulous agents of the notori- 
ous Third Section, one of the gang who drugged and 
kidnapped poor Alexander of Bulgaria. My own 
disguise, it is hardly necessary to say, was impene- 
trable. 

This precious apostle of peace greeted me with 
unction, on the editor's introduction. 

" You are going to our country on a truly noble 
errand,'' he declared, with tears in his eyes. " We 
Russians have reason to feel grateful to worthy 
Englishmen like you, who can rise above national 
prejudices and do justice to the benevolent designs 
of the Czar and his advisers." 

" I hope that I may be instrumental in averting a 

great catastrophe," I said piously. 

27 



The International Spy 



" Even if you fail in preventing war/^ the Kus- 
sian replied, " you will be able to tell your country- 
men when you return, that it was due to the insane 
ambition of the heathen Japanese. It is the " Yellow 
Peril,'^ m;^ friend, to which that good Emperor 
William has drawn attention, from which we are 
trying to save Europe.^^ 

I nodded my head as if weU satisfied. 

"Whatever you and your friends in Petersburg 
tell me, I shall believe,'^ I assured him. " I am 
convinced of the good intention of your Government/' 

The Russian fairly grinned at this simplicity. 

"You cannot find a more trustworthy informant 

than the Princess Y y^ he said gravely. " And 

just now she is in a position to know a very great 
deal.'' 

" How so ? " I asked naturally — ^not that I doubted 
the statement. 

" The Princess has just been appointed a lady-in- 
waiting to her imperial majesty the Dowager Em- 
press Dagmar." 

This was a serious blow. Knowing what I did of 

the past of Princess Y y I felt that no ordinary 

pressure must have been brought to bear to secure her 
admission into the household of the Ozaritza. And 
with what motive ? It was a question to which there 
could be only one answer. The War Party had 
guessed or suspected that the Czar's mother was op- 



28 



The Princess Y ^s Hint 



posed to them, and they had resolved to place a spy 
on her actions. 

Inwardly thankful to Mr. Place for having been 
the means of procuring me this important informa- 
tion in advance, I received my passport and quitted 
the Embassy with the heartfelt congratulations of the 
ex-kidnapper. 

Forty-eight hours later I had crossed the Russian 
frontier, and my life was in the hands of the Princess. 

My first step on arriving in the capital of the 
North was to put up at the favorite hotel of English 
visitors. The coupons of a celebrated tourist agency 
were credentials in themselves, and I had not forgot- 
ten to provide myseK with the three articles indis- 
pensable to the outfit of every traveling Briton — a 
guide book, a prayer book, and a bath sponge. 

At the risk of incurring the suspicions of the police 
agent stationed in the hotel, I mingled some hot water 
in the bath which I took on the first morning after 
my arrival. Then, having made my toilet and eaten 
the heavy breakfast provided for EngUsh visitors, I 
set out, suflfering sadly from indigestion, to present 
my letter of introduction to the Princess. 

As this woman, the most brilliant recruit ever re- 
ceived into the Russian secret service, and a foe of 
whom I am not ashamed to confess that I felt some 
fear, has never been heard of by the public of Great 
Britain, I shaU say a word concerning her. 

29 



The International Spy 



The Princess, whose Christian name was Sophia, 
was the daughter of a boyar of Little Russia. Her 
extraordinary beauty, while she was still a very young 
girl, attracted the attention of the governor of the 

province. Prince Y y who was one of the 

wealthiest nobles in the Empire, and a widower. He 
made proposals for her hand which were accepted 
by her father, without the girl herself being asked to 
express an opinion in the matter, and at the age 
when an English girl would be leaving home for a 
convent or " high-school," Sophia became the Gov- 
ernor's wife. 

Almost immediately the Prince resigned his gov- 
ernment and went to live in his splendid palace on 
the Nevsky Prospect, in Petersburg. Before very 
long, society in the Russian capital was startled to 
hear of the sudden deaths in rapid succession of both 
the Prince's children by his former wife, a son and 
a daughter. Then, after a brief interval, followed 
the tragic death of the Prince himself, who was 
found in bed one morning by his valet, with his throat 
cut 

The almost satanic beauty and fascination of the 
youthful Princess had made her from the very first 
one of the most conspicuous personages at the Im- 
perial Court. These three deaths, following on the 
heels of one another, roused the most dreadful sus- 
picions, and the Czar Alexander HI. personally 

30 



The Princess T ^s Hint 



charged his minister of justice to see that the law 
was carried out. 

Accordingly the police took possession of the palace 
while the corpse of its late owner still lay where it 
had been found. The most searching investigations 
were made, the servants were questioned and threat- 
ened^ and it was rumored that the widow herself was 
for a short time under arrest. 

Suddenly a great change took place. The police 
withdrew, professing themselves satisfied that no 
crime had been committed. The deaths of the son 
and daughter were put down to natural causes, and 
that of the Prince was pronounced a suicide, due 
to grief at the loss of his children. Some of the 
servants disappeared — it was said into Siberia — 
and in due course the Princess resumed her place 
in society and at Court, as though nothing were 
amiss. 

Nevertheless, from that hour, as I have every reason 
to know, her life was really that of a slave to the 
head of the secret police. She appeared to go about 
unfettered, and to revel in the enjoyment of every 
luxury ; but her time, her actions, and the vast wealth 
bequeathed to her by her husband, were all at the 
disposal of her tyrant. 

Time after time, in half the capitals of Europe, but 
more especially, of course, in that of Kussia, I had 
come on traces of this terrible woman, not less terrible 

31 



\ 



The International Spy 



if it were true that she was herself the most 
miserable victim of the system of which she formed 
part. 

But singularly enough, though I had heard so much 
of the Princess I had never actually found myself 
pitted against her. And, more singularly still, I had 
never met her. 

From this it will be gathered that I experienced 
a sensation of more than ordinary curiosity and even 
apprehension as I presented myself at the house in 
the Nevsky Prospect, and asked to be admitted to the 
presence of its mistress. 

" Her highness is on duty at the Palace to-day,^' I 
was told by the chamberlain who received me in the 
inner hall. " Her carriage is just ordered to take her 
there. However, I will take up your letter, and in- 
quire when her highness can see you.'' 

I sat down in the hall, outwardly a calm, stolid 
Briton, but inwardly a wrestler, wound up to the 
highest pitch of excitement and impatient for the 
Bight of his antagonist 

To pass the time suitably, I took my guide-book 
out of my pocket and began to read. The book opened 
at Herr B;edaker'8 dSption of the glooxny foLss 
of the Schlusselburg, the dreaded prison of the foes 
of the Ozar. 

The description did not tend to soothe my nerves, 
conscious as I was that the woman I was about to meet 

32 



The Princess Y '5 Hint 



could consign me to the most noisome dungeon in the 
fortress by merely lifting her little finger. 

I was just closing the book with an involuntary 
shudder when I heard a light, almost girlish, laugh 
from above. I looked hastily, and saw the woman 
I had come to measure myself against standing poised 
like a bird on the top of the grand staircase. 

As I rose hurriedly to my feet, taking in every 
detail of her superb yet delicate figure, her com- 
plexion like a blush-rose, Ker lustrous eyes — they • 
were dark violet on a closer view — and the cloud of 
rippling gold that framed her brow, I was moved, 
yes, positively carried away for a moment, by a senti- 
ment such as few women have been able to inspire in 
me. 

Perceiving, no doubt, that she had produced the 
desired impression, the Princess ran lightly down the 
stairs and came toward me holding out two tiny hands, 
the fingers of which were literally gloved in dia- 
monds. 

" My friend ! My noble Englishman ! '^ she ex- 
claimed in the purest French. "And since when 
have you known that dear Monsieur Place ? " 

I checked myself on the point of replying, pre- 
tended to falter, and then muttered in the worst 
•French I could devise on the spur of the moment : 

'' Parlez-vous Anglais, s'il vous plait, Madame ? '' 

The Princess shook her head reproachfully. 

8 3d 



The International Spy 



" You speak French too well not to understand it, 
I suspect," she retorted in the same language. Then 
dropping it for English, marred only by a slight Sla- 
vonic accent, she repeated : 

"But tell me, — dear Mr. Place, he is a great 
friend of yours, I suppose ? " 

" I can hardly claim the honor of his personal 
friendship," I replied, rather lamely. " But I have 
always known and admired him as a public man." 

" Ah I He is so good, is he not ? So generous, so 
confiding, so great a friend of our dear Eussia. You 
know Mr. ?" 

The name she uttered was that of the politician re- 
ferred to above. She slipped it out swiftly, with the 
action of a cat pouncing. 

I shook my head with an air of distress. 

" I am afraid I am not important enough to know 
such a great man as that," I said with aflfected hu- 
mility. 

The Princess hastened to relieve my embarrass- 
ment. 

" What is that to us ! " she exclaimed. " You are 
an Englishman, you are benevolent, upright, truth- 
ful, and you esteem our country. Such men are al- 
ways welcome in Russia. The Czaritza is waiting 
for me; but you will come back and dine with me, 
if not to-night, then to-morrow, or the next day. I 
will send an invitation to your hotel. My friends 

34 



The Princess Y 's Hint 



shall call on you. You are staying at the ? " 

I mentioned the name of the hotel^ murmuring 
my thanks. 

" That is nothing/' the beautiful woman went on 
in the same eager strain. " I shall have good news 
for you when we meet again, believe me. Yes — " 
she lowered her voice almost to a whisper — " our dear 
Czar is going to take the negotiations into his own 
hands. So it is said. His majesty is determined to 
preserve peace. The odious intrigues of the War 
group will be defeated, I can assure you. You will 

not be disappointed, my dear Mr. " she 

snatched the editor's letter from her muflf and 
glanced at it — " Mr. Sterling, if I tell you that you 
are going to have your journey for nothing. You 
will have a good time in Petersburg, all the same. 
But believe me when I tell you so, your journey will 
fortunately be for nothing ! " 

And with the repetition of these words, and an- 
other bright bow and look which dazzled my senses, 
the wonderful creature swept past me to where the 
chamberlain stood ready to hand her into her carriage. 

For nothing ? 



95 




OHAPTEE m 

XHB HBAS or THE MANCHUBIAIT SYSDIOATB 

fijjO reader can have failed to notice one 
remarkable point in the inteiriew be- 
tween the Princess Y and myself. 

I refer of course to her invitation 
to me to dine with her in the course 
of a day or two. 

TTnleSB the etiquette of the Russian Court differed 
greatly from that of most others in Europe, it would 
be most indecorous for a lady-in-waiting, during her 
torn of service, to give ent^iiiinnients at her private 
house. 

I felt certain that this invitation concealed some 
trap, but I puzzled myself uselessly in trying to 
guesB what it could be. 

In the meantime I did not neglect certain othtsi 
friends of mine in the city on the Neva, from whom 
I had some hope of receiving assistance. 

Although I have never gone so far as to enroll 
myself as an active Nihilist, I am what is known as 
on Auxiliary. In other words, without being under 



mm 



The Head qf the Manchurian Syndicate 

the orders of the great secret committee which wages 
undergroimd war with the Russian Gtovermnent, I 
have sometimes rendered it voluntary services, and 
I have at all times the privilege of communicating 
with it, and exchanging information. 

While waiting for the next move on the part of 
the Princess, therefore, I decided to get in touch 
with the revolutionists. 

I made my way on foot to a certain tavern situ- 
ated near the port, and chiefly patronized by Gterman 
and Scandinavian sailors. 

The host of the Angel Gabriel, as the house was 
called, was a Nihilist of old standing, and one of 
their most useful agents for introducing forbidden 
literature into the empire. 

Printed mostly in London, in a suburb called Wal- 
worth, the revolutionary tracts are shipped to Bergen 
or Lubeck, and brought thence by these sailors con- 
cealed in their bedding. At night, after the customs 
officers have departed, a boat with a false keel puts 
off from a quay higher up the Neva,' and passes down 
the river to where the newly arrived ship is lying; 
the packages are dropped overboard as it drifts past 
the side and hidden imder the bottom boards; and 
then the boat returns up the river, where its cargo 
is transferred to the cellars of the tavern. 

The host, a namesake of the Viceroy of Manchuria, 

^as Berving in the bar when I came in. I called 

87 



The International Spy 



for a glass of vodka^ and in doing so made the sign 
announcing myself as an Auxiliary. 

Alexieff said nothing in reply, but the sailors 
lounging in the bar began to finish off their drinks 
and saunter out one by one, till in a short time the 
place was empty. 

"Well?" said the tavern-keeper, as soon as we 
were alone. 

It was not my first visit to the Angel Gabriel, and 
I lost no time in convincing Alexieff of my identity. 
As soon as he recognized me, I said : — 

" You know the Princess T ? " 

The expression of rage and fear which convulsed 
his features was a sufficient answer. 

" You know, moreover, that she is at present work- 
ing her hardest to bring about a war between Eussia 
and Japan, with the hope of ultimately involving 
Great Britain ? " 

He nodded sullenly. 

"How does that affect your friends?" I asked 
cautiously. Something in the man's face warned 
me not to show my own hand just then. 

"We hate her, of course," he said grudgingly, 
"but just now we have received orders that she is 
not to be interfered with." 

I drew a deep breath. 

" Then you regard this war ? " 

" We regard it as the beginning of the revolution," 

38 



The Head qf the Manchurian Syndicate 

he answered. " We know that the Empire is utterly 
tinprepared. The Viceroy Alexieflf is a vain boaster. 
Port Arthur is not provisioned. The Navy is rot- 
ten. The Army cannot be recruited except by force. 
The taxes are already excessive and cannot be in- 
creased. In short, we look forward to see the autoc- 
racy humiliated. The moment its prestige is gone, 
and the moujik feels the pinch of famine, our chance 
will come.'^ 

I saw that I had come to the wrong quarter for 
assistance. 

" Then you will do nothing against this woman at 
present ? '^ I remarked, anxious to leave the impres- 
sion that she was the only object of my concern. 

"No. At least not until war is definitely de- 
clared. After that I cannot say." 

" And you think the war sure to come ? '' 

" We are certain of it One of our most trusted 
members is on the board of the Manchurian Syndi- 
cate." 

" The Syndicate which has obtained the concessions 
in Korea ? " 

" Against which Japan has protested, yes." 

I felt the full force of this announcement, having 
watched the proceedings of the Syndicate for some 
months for reasons of my own. 

Every student of modern history has remarked the 

fact that all recent wars have been promoted by great 

39 



The. International Spy^ 



combinations of capitalists. The causes which for- 
merly led to war between nation and nation have 
ceased to operate. Causes, or at least pretexts, for 
war continue to occur, but whether they are followed 
up depends mainly on commercial considerations. A: 
distant Government is oppressing its subjects, it may 
be in Turkey, it may be in Cuba, it may be in Africa. 
TSo matter, some great Power suddenly discovers it 
is interested; the drums are beaten, the flag is un- 
furled, and armies are launched on their path. The 
next year, perhaps, the same Power sees its own sub- 
jects massacred wantonly off its own coasts by a for- 
eign fleet Nothing happens; a few speeches are 
made, and the whole incident is referred to arbitra- 
tion, and forgotten. 

It is the consideration of money which decides be- 
tween peace and war. 

Perceiving it was useless to ask any assistance of 
the Nihilists in my forlorn enterprise, I returned 
sadly to my hotel. 

Hardly had I flushed the immense lunch on which 
I was compelled to gorge myseK, when a waiter 
brought me a card^ the name on which gave me an 
electric shocL 

'' M. PetrovUchr 

Every one has heard of this man, the promoter of 
the Manchurian Syndicate, and, if report spoke truly, 
the possessor of an influence over the young Czar 



The Head qf the Manchurian Syndicate 

which could be attributed only to some occult art. 

I could not doubt that this powerful personage had 
been instigated to call on me by the Princess T . 

What then? Was it likely that she would have 
sent the most influential man in flie imperial circle 
to wait upon a traveling fanatic, a visionary humani- 
tarian from Exeter Hall? 

Impossible I Somehow something must have leaked 
out to rouse the suspicions of this astute plotter, and 
make her guess that I was not what I seemed. 

It was with the sensations of a man struggling in 
the meshes of an invisible net that I saw M. Petro- 
vitch enter the room. 

The celebrated wire-puller, whose name was famil- 
iar to every statesman and stock-broker in Europe, 
had an appearance very unlike his reputation. 

He was the court dandy personified. Every detail 
of his dress was elaborated to the point of effeminacy. 
His hands were like a girFs, his long hair was curled 
and scented, he walked with a limp and spoke with a 
lisp, removing a gold-tipped cigarette from his well- 
displayed teeth. 

As the smoke of the cigarette drifted toward me, I 
was conscious of an acute, but imperfect, twinge of 
memory. The sense of smell, though the most 
neglected, is the most reliable sense with which we 
are furnished. I could not be mistaken in thinking 
I had smelt tobacco like that before. 

41 



The International Spy 



" I have come to see you without losing a moment, 
Mr. Sterling/' he said in very good English. " My 

good friend Madame Y sent me a note from the 

Palace to beg me to show you every attention. It is 
too bad that an ambassador of peace — a friend of 
that great and good man, Place, should be staying 
in a hotel, while hundreds of Russians would be de- 
lighted to welcome him as their guest. My house is 
a poor one, it is true, and I am hardly of high enough 
rank, still '^ 

The intriguer was asking me to transfer myself to 
his roof, to become his prisoner, in effect. 

" I cannot thank you enough," I responded, " but 
I am not going to stay. The Princess has convinced 
me that the war-cloud will blow over, and I think of 
going on to Constantinople to intercede with the Sul- 
tan on behalf of the Armenians." 

" A noble idea," M. Petrovitch responded warmly. 
" What would the world do without such men as you ? 
But at all events you will dine with me before 
you go ? " 

It was the second invitation to dinner I had re- 
ceived that day. But, after all, I could hardly sus- 
pect a trap in everything. 

" Do you share the hopes of the Princess ? " I asked 
M. Petrovitch, after thanking him for his hospitality. 

The syndicate-monger nodded. 

" I have been working night and day for peace," 

42 



The Head qf the Manchurian Syndicate 

he declared impudently, " and I think I may claim 
that I have done some good. The Japanese are seek- 
ing for an excuse to attack us, but they will not get it." 

" The Manchurian Syndicate ? " I ventured to hint, 
rising to go to the bell. 

" The Syndicate is wholly in favor of peace," he 
assured me, watching my movement with evident curi- 
osity. " We require it, in fact, to develop our mines, 
our timber concessions, our " 

A waiter entered in response to my ring. 

" Bring me some cigarettes — ^your best," I ordered 
him. 

As the man retreated it was borne in on my guest 
that he had been guilty of smoking in my room with- 
out offering me his case. 

" A thousand pardons ! " he exclaimed. " Won't 
you try one of mine ? " 

I took a cigarette from the case he held out, turned 
it between my fingers, and lit it from the end farthest 
from the maker's imprint. 

" If I am satisfied that all danger is removed I 
should be inclined to apply for some shares in your 
undertaking," I said, giving the promoter a meaning 
look. 

From the expression in his eyes it was evident that 

this precious scoundrel was ready to sell Czar, Russia 

and fellow-promoters all together. 

While he was struggling between his natural greed 

43 



The International Spy 



and his suspicion the waiter reentered with some 
boxes of cigarettes. 

I smelt the tobacco of each and made my choice, at 
the same time pitching the half-smoked cigarette 
given to me by M. Petrovitch into the fireplace, among 
the ashes. 

" Your tobacco is a little too strong for me," I re- 
marked by way of excuse. 

But the Eussian was wrapped up in the thought 
of the bribe at which I had just hinted. 

" I shall bear in mind what you say," he declared, 
as he rose. 

" Depend upon it, if it is possible for me to meet 
your wishes, I shall be happy to do so." 

I saw him go off, like a fish with the bait in its 
mouth. Directly the door closed behind him I sprang 
to the fireplace, rescued the still burning cigarette and 
quenched it, and then, carefully brushing away the 
dust, read the maker^s brand once more. 

An hour later simultaneous messages were speed- 
ing over the wires to my correspondents in London, 
(Amsterdam and Hamburg: 

Ascertain what becomes of all cigarettes made by Gregorides; 
brand, crown Aa. 



I 




OHAPTEB ly 

THS OZAb'S ATTTOCIRAPH 

|[HE next moming at breakfast I found 
tlie two invitationii already promised. 
Tliat of the head of the Manchurian 
Syndicate was for the sams iiiglit. 
Besolved not to remain in the dark 
any longer as to the reason for this apparent breach! 
of etiquette, I decided to do what the Marquis of 
Bedale had suggeeted, namely, approach the Dowager 
Empreai in person. 

Well accustomed to the obstacles which beset access 
to royalty, I drove to the Palace in a richly appointed 
carriage from the best livery stable" in Petersburg, 
and sent in my card to the chamberlain by an equerry. 
" I have a message to the Ozaritza which I am In- 
structed to give to her majesty in person," I told hinu 
" Be good enough to let her know that the messenger 
from the Queen of England has arrived." 

He went out of the room, and at the end of ten 
minutes the door opened again and admitted — ^the 
Princess T— — I 
Overpowered l^ this unlucky accident^ as I at first 



The International Spy 



supposed it to be, I rose to my feet, muttering some 
vague phrase of courtesy. 

But the Princess soon showed me that the meeting 
did not take her by surprise. 

" So you have a message for my dear mistress ? " 
she cried in an accent of gay reproach. " And you 
never breathed a word of it to me. Mr. Sterling, I 
shall begia to think you are a conspirator. How long 
did you say you had known that good Mr. Place? 
But I am talking while her majesty is waiting. Have 
you any password by which the Czaritza will know 
whom you come from ? " 

" I can tell that only to her majesty, I am afraid,'' 
I answered guardedly. 

" I am in her majesty's confidence." 

And bringing her exquisite face so near to mine 
that I was oppressed by the scent of the tuberoses in 
her bosom, she whispered three syllables in my ear. 

Dismayed by this proof of the fatal progress the 
dangerous police agent had already made, I could 
only admit by a silent bow that the password was 
correct. 

" Then come with me, Mr. Sterling," the Princess 
said with what sounded like a malicious accent on the 
name. 

The reception which I met from the Dowager Em- 
press was gracious in the extreme. I need not re- 
count all that passed. Her imperial majesty repeated 

46 



The Czar's Autograph 



with evident sincerity the assurances which had al- 
ready been given me in a different spirit by the two 
arch-intriguers. 

" There will be no war. The Czar has personally 
intervened. He has taken the negotiations out of the 
hands of Count Lamsdorff, and written an autograph 
letter to the Mikado which will put an end to the 
crisis." 

I listened with a distrust which I could not wholly 
conceal. 

" I trust his majesty has not intervened too late," 
I said respectfully, my mind bent on framing some 
excuse to get rid of the listener. " According to the 
newspapers the patience of the Japanese is nearly 
exhausted." 

"No more time will be lost," the Czaritza re- 
sponded. " The messenger leaves Petersburg to-night 
with the Czar's letter." 

I stole a cautious glance in the direction of the 

Princess Y . She was breathing deeply, her eyes 

fixed on the Czaritza's lips, and her hands tightly 
clenched. 

I put on an air of great relief. 

" In that case, your majesty, I have no more to 

do in Petersburg. I will wire the good news to Lord 

Bedale, and return to England to-morrow or the next 

day. I beg your pardon. Princess ! " I pretended to 

exclaim by a sudden afterthought^ ^^ after the next 

47 



The International Spy, 



day.'^ And turning once more to the mother of the 
Ozar^ I explained : 

" The Princess has honored me with an invitation 
to dinner." 

The Dowager Empress glanced at her attendant in 
evident surprise. 

" I must implore your pardon. Madam," the Prin- 
cess stammered, in real confusion. " I am aware I 
ought to have solicited your leave in the first place, 
but knowing that this gentleman came from " 

She broke off, fairly unable to meet the questioning 
gaze of her imperial mistress. 

I pretended to come to her relief. 

" I have a private message," I said to the Empress. 

" Tou may leave us, Princess," the Empress said 
coldly. 

As soon as the door had closed on her, I gave a 
warning look at the Ozaritza. 

" That woman. Madam, is the most dangerous agent 
in the secret service of your Empire." 

I trusted to the little scene I had just contrived 
to prepare the mind of the Ozaritza for this intima- 
tion. But she received it as a matter of course. 

^^ Sophia T has been all that you say, 

Monsieur V . I am well acquainted with her 

history. The poor thing has been a victim of the 

most fiendish cruelly on the part of the Minister of 

Police, for ^ears. At last, unable to bear her position 

48 




■' Yqu may leave us. Princess," the Empress said 



The Czar^s Autograph 



any longer^ she appealed to me. She told me her har- 
rowing story, and implored me to receive her, and 
secure her admission to a convent. I investigated the 
case thoroughly.^' 

" Tour majesty will pardon me, I am sure, if I 
say that as a man with some experience of intrigue, I 
thoroughly distrust that woman's sincerity. She is 
intimate with M. Petrovitch, to my knowledge." 

" But M. Petrovitch is also on the side of peace, so 
I am assured.'' 

I began to despair. 

" Tou will believe me, or disbelieve me as your 
majesty pleases. But I am accustomed to work for 
those who honor me with their entire confidence. If 

the Princess T is to be taken into the secret of 

my work on your majesty's behalf, I must respectfully 
ask to be released." 

As I offered her majesty this alternative in a firm 
voice, I was inwardly trembling. On the reply hung, 
perhaps, the fate of two continents. 

But the Dowager Empress did not hesitate. 

" What you stipulate for shall be done. Monsieur 

V • I am too well aware of the value of your 

services, and the claims you have on the con- 
fidence of your employers, to dispute your condi- 
tions." 

" The messenger who is starting to-night — does the 

Princess know who he is ? " 
4 49 



The International Spy 



" I believe so. It is no secret. The messenger is 
Colonel Menken.'^ 

" In that case he will never reach Tokio.'' 

Her majesty could not suppress a look of horror. 

" What do you advise ? " she. demanded tremu- 
lously. 

" His majesty the Czar must at once write a dupli- 
cate of the despatch, unknown to any living soul but 
your majesty, and that despatch must be placed by 
you in my hands." 

The Dowager Empress gazed at me for a moment 
in consternation. 

But the soundness of the plan I had proposed 
quickly made itself manifest to her. 

" Tou are right. Monsieur V /^ her majesty 

said approvingly. ^' I will communicate with the Czar 
without delay. By what time do you want the dis- 
patch ? " 

" In time to catch the Siberian express to-night, if 
your majesty pleases. I purpose to travel by the same 
train as Colonel Menken — ^it is possible I may be able 
to avert a tragedy. 

"And since your majesty has told me that the 

Princess T is aware of the ColoneFs errand, let 

me venture to urge you most strongly not to let her out 
of your sight on any pretense until he is safely on his 
way." 

I need not go into the details of the further arrange- 

50 



The Czar^s Autograph 



ments made with a view to my receiving the duplicate 
dispatch in secrecy. 

I came away from the Palace fully realizing the 
serious nature of my undertaking. I understood now 
all that had worried me in the proceedings of the 
Princess. It was clear to me that Lord Bedale, or the 
personage on whose behalf he instructed me, had 
wired to the Dowager Empress, notifying her majesty 
of my coming, and that she had shown the message 
to her lady-in-waiting. 

Blaming myself bitterly for not having impressed 
the necessity for caution on the Marquis, I at once 
set about providing myself with a more effectual dis- 
guise. 

It is a proverb on the lips of every moujik in 
Petersburg that all Eussia obeys the Czar, and the 
Czar obeys the Tchin. Ever since the bureaucracy 
deliberately allowed Alexander II. to be assassinated 
by the Nihilists out of anger at his reforming tenden- 
cies, the Russian monarchs have felt more real dread 
of their own police than of the revolutionists. The 
Tchin, the universally-pervading body of officials, who 
run the autocracy to fill their pockets, and indulge 
their vile propensities at the expense of the governed, 
is as omnipotent as it is corrupt. Everywhere in that 
vast Empire the word of the Tchinovink is law — and 
there is no other law except his word. 

Taking the bull by the horns, I went straight to 

61 



The International Spy 



the Central Police Bureau of the capital, and asked 
to see a certain superintendent named Rostoy. 

To this man, with whom I had had some dealings 
on a previous occasion, and whose character was well 
understood by me, I explained that I had accepted a 
mission from a friendly Power to travel along the 
Siberian Railway and report on its capacity to keep 
the Army of Manchuria supplied with food and am- 
munition in the event of war. 

He expressed no surprise when I told him it was 
essential that I should leave Petersburg that night, 
and accordingly it did not take us long to come to 
terms. 

The service which I required of him was, of course, 
a fresh passport, with a complete disguise which 
would enable me to pass anywhere along the railway 
or in Manchuria without being detected or interfered 
with by the agents of the Government 

After some discussion we decided that the safest 
plan would be for me to travel in the character of a 
Russian police officer charged with the detection of 
the train thieves and card-sharpers who abound on 
every great route of travel. I could think of no part 
which would serve better to enable me to watch over 
the safety of the Czar's envoy without exciting sus- 
picion. 

I placed in Rostoy's hands the first instalment of a 

heavy bribe, and arranged to return an hour before 

62 



The Czar's Autograph 



the departure of the Moscow express to carry out mj 
transformation. 

It was only as I left his office that I remembered 
my imlucky engagement to dine that very night with 
the head of the Manchurian Syndicate. 

I perceived that these hospitalities were well de- 
vised checks on my movements, and it was with some- 
thing of a shock that I realized that when I went to 
dinner that evening with the most active promoter 
of the war I should be carrying the Czar's peace 
despatch in my pocket 1 

If the enemies of peace had foreseen every step that 
I was to take in the discharge of my mission, their 
measures could not have been more skilfully arranged. 

And as this reflection occurred to me I turned my 
head nervously, and remarked a man dressed like a 
hotel porter lounging carelessly in my track. 



53 




CHAPTER T 

A DIHNKB WITH THE ENEMY 

^EADEKS of that prince of romancere, 
Poe, will recollect a celebrated story 
in which he describes the device em- 
ployed by a man of uneommon shrewd- 
ness to conceal a stolen letter from 
the perquisitions of the police, and the elaborate 
argument by which the writer proves that the highest 
art of concealment is to thrust the object to be hid- 
den imder the very nose of the searcher. 

But that argument is one of the many mystifica- 
tions in which the weird genius of Poe delighted. It 
is easy to see, in short, that the theory was invented 
to suit the story, and not the story to suit the theory. 
I now had before me the practical problem of con- 
cealing a document of surpassing importance, from 
enemies who were already en my scent, and keeping 
it concealed during a journey of some thousands of 
miles. 

The ordinary hiding-places of valuable papers, such 
as the lining of clothes, or a false bottom to a trunk. 



A Dinner with the Enemy 



I dismissed without serious consideration. My lug- 
gage would probably be stolen, and I might be drugged 
long before I reached Dalny. 

The problem was all the more difficult for me be- 
cause I have generally made it a rule to avoid charg- 
ing myself with written instructions. I am suffi- 
ciently well known by reputation to most European 
sovereigns to be able to dispense with ordinary cre- 
dentials. But in approaching the Mikado of Japan, 
a ruler to whom I was personally unknown, it was 
clearly necessary for me to have something in writing 
from the Russian Emperor. 

All at once an idea flashed on my mind, so simple, 
and yet so incapable of detection (as it seemed to me), 
that I almost smiled in the face of the man who was 
dogging my steps along the street, no doubt under 
instructions from the War Syndicate. 

That afternoon I was closeted with the Emperor 
of All the Russias in his private cabinet for nearly an 
hour. 

It is not my habit to repeat details of private con- 
versations, when they are not required to illustrate 
the progress of public events, and therefore I will say 
merely that the Czar was evidently in earnest in his 
desire to avoid war, but greatly hampered and be- 
wildered by the difficult representations made to him 
by, or on behalf of, those to whose interests war was 

essential. 

55 



The International Spy 



It was melancholy to see the destinies of half Eu- 
rope and Asia, and the lives of scores of thousands of 
brave men, hanging on Ae wiU of an irresolute young 
man, depressed by the consciousness of his own in- 
firmity, and desperately seeking for some stronger 
mind on which to lean. Had I not been placed by my 
Polish sentiment in a position of antagonism to the 
Czardom, perhaps — ^but it is useless to indulge in 
these reflections. 

One thing in the course of the interview struck me 
as having great significance for the future. I found 
that his majesty, who had entertained at one time a 
strong dislike of the German Emperor, a dislike not 
untinged with jealousy, had now completely altered 
his opinion. He spoke to me of Wilhelm II. in terms 
of highest praise, declared that he was under the 
greatest obligations to him for useful warnings and 
advice, said that he believed he had no truer or more 
zealous friend. 

When I drove to the house of M. Petrovitch that 
evening I carried, carefully sewn between the inner 
and outer folds of my well-starched shirt-front, where 
no sound of crackling would excite remark, a sheet 
of thin note-paper covered in a very small handwrit- 
ing with the text of the Ozar's letter to the ruler of 
Japan. 

M. Petrovitch was not alone. Around his hospita- 
ble board he had gathered some of the highest and 

56 



A Dinner with the Enemy 



proudest personages of the Russian Court, including 
the Grand Duke Staniolano, generally believed to be 
the heart and soul of the War Party. His imperial 
highness was well-known to be a desperate gambler, 
up to the neck in debts contracted at the card-table, 
and bent on recouping himself out of the wealth of 
Korea and Manchuria. 

I was duly presented to this royal personage (whom 
I had met once before under widely different circum- 
stances) in the character of a Peace Crusader, an 
emissary of the philanthropists of Great Britain. 

At the dinner-table, where I found myself placed 
on my host's left hand, while the Grand Duke was on 
his right, the conversation continued to be in the same 
strain. That Petrovitch believed me to be an English 
peace fanatic I did not believe any longer, but I could 
not tell if any, or how many, of the others were in his 
confidence. 

As soon as the solid part of the feast was disposed 
of, Petrovitch rose to his feet, and after a bow to the 
Grand Duke, launched out into a formal speech pro- 
posing my health. 

He commenced with the usual professions in favor 

of peace, spoke of the desire felt by all Russians to 

preserve the friendship of England, eulogized the 

work done by my friend the editor, and by other less 

disinterested friends of Russia in London, and wound 

up by asking all the company to give me a cordial 

57 



The International Spy 



welcome, and to send a message of congratulation and 
good-will to the British public. 

Knowing as I did, that the man was a consummate 
rogue, who had probably invited me to his house in 
order to keep me under observation, and possibly to 
prevent my getting scent of the intrigues pursued by 

his friend and ally. Princess Y , I was still 

at a loss to understand the reason for this perform- 
ance. 

I have learned since that an account of the proceed- 
ings, with abstracts from this hypocritical speech, was 
telegraphed to England, and actually found its way 
into some of the newspapers under the heading, 
"Peace Demonstration in St. Petersburg: No Rus- 
sian Wants War." 

There was one of the guests, however, who made 
no pretense of listening with pleasure to the smooth 
speech of M. Petrovitch. This was a dark young 
man of about thirty, in a naval uniform. He sat 
scowling while his host spoke, and barely lifted his 
glass from the table at the conclusion. 

A minute or two later I took an opportunity to ask 
the promoter the name of this ungracious officer. 

" That ? " my host exclaimed, looking 'round the 
table, " Oh, that is Captain Vassileffski, one of our 
most distinguished sailors. He is a naval aide-de- 
camp to the Czar." 

I made a note of his name and face, being warned 



A Dmner with the Enemy 



by a presentiment which I could not resist that I 
should come across him again. 

The champagne now began to flow freely, and as 
it flowed the tongues of many of the company were 
unloosed by degrees. From the subject of peace the 
conversation passed rapidly to the possibilities of war, 
and the Japanese were spoken of in a way that plainly 
showed me how little those present understood the 
resolution and resources of the Island Empire. 

" The Japanese dare not fire the flrst shot and, 
since we will not, there will be no war," declared my 
left-hand neighbor. 

" The war will be fought in Japan, not in Man- 
churia," affirmed the Grand Duke with a condescend- 
ing air. " It will be a case of the Boers over again. 
They may give us some trouble, but we shall annex 
their country. 

M. Petrovitch gave me a glance of alarm. 

" Russia does not wish to add to her territory," he 
put in ; " but we may flnd it necessary to leave a few 
troops in Tokio to maintain order, while we pursue 
our civilizing mission." 

I need not recoimt the other remarks, equally arro- 
gant. 

Abstemious by habit, I had a particular reason for 
refraining from taking much wine on this night. It 
was already past nine o^clock, the train for Moscow, 
which connected there with the Siberian express, 

59 



The International Spy 



started at midnight, and I had to be at the police bu- 
reau by eleven at the latest to make the changes neces- 
sary for my disguise, 

I therefore allowed my glass to remain full, merely 
touching it with my lips occasionally when my host 
pressed me to drink. M. Petrovitch did not openly 
notice my abstinence, but presently I heard him 
give an order to the butler who waited behind his 
chair. 

The butler turned to the sideboard for a moment, 
and then came forward bearing a silver tray on which 
stood a flagon of cut-glass and silver with a number 
of exquisite little silver cups like egg-shells. 

" You will not refuse to taste our Russian national 
beverage, Mr, Sterling," the head of the War Syndi- 
cate said persuasively, as the butler began filling the 
tiny cups. 

It was a challenge which I could not refuse with- 
out rudeness, though it struck me as rather out of 
place that the vodka should be offered to me before 
to the imperial guest on my host's right. 

The butler filled two cups, M. Petrovitch taking 
the second from the tray as I lifted the first to my 
lips. 

" Ton know our custom,'* the financier exclaimed 
smilingly, " No heeltaps ! " 

He lifted his own cup with a brave air, and I tossed 
off the contents of my own without stopping. 

GO 



A Dinner with the JEnemy 



As the fiery liquor ran down my throat I was con- 
scious of something in its taste which was unlike 
the flavor of any vodka I had ever drunk before. But 
this circumstance aroused no suspicion in my mind. 
I confess that it never occurred to me that any one 
could be daring enough to employ so crude and dan- 
gerous a device as a drugged draft at a quasi-public 
banquet, given to an English peace emissary, with 
a member of the imperial family sitting at the 
board. 

I was undeceived the next moment. Petrovitch, 
as soon as he saw that my cup had been emptied, sat 
down his own untasted, and, with a well-acted move- 
ment of surprise and regret, turned to the Grand 
Duke. 

^' I implore your pardon, sir. I did not ask if you 
would not honor me by taking the first cup ! ^' 

The Grand Duke, whom I readily acquitted of any 
share in the other's design, shrugged his shoulders 
with an indifferent air. 

" If you wish your friends to drink vodka, you 
should not put champagne like this before us,'^ he 
said laughing. 

Petrovitch said something in reply ; he turned and 
scolded the butler as well, I fancy. But my brain 
was becoming confused. I had just sufficient com- 
mand of my faculties left to feign ignorance of the 

true situation. 

61 



The International Spy 



" I am feeling a little faint. That jpdte ''—1 con- 
trived to murmur. 

And then I heard Captain Vassileffski cry out in 
an alarm that was unmistakably genuine — " Look out 
for the Englishman ! He is swooning '^ — and I knew 
no more. 



82 




CHAPTER VI 

DEUOQED AND SIDNAPPED 

gY firat thought, as my senses began to 
come back to me, was of the train 
which was due to leave Petersburg 
for Moscow at midnight. 

I clutched at my watch, and drew it 
forth. The handa marked the time aa 9.25. Ap- 
parently I had not been unconscious for more than 
a few seconds. 

My second glance assured me that my clothes were 
not disarranged. My shirt-front, concealing the 
Czar's autograph letter, was exactly as when I sat 
down to the table. 

Only after satisfying myself on these two points 
did I begin to take in the rest of my surround- 
ings. 

I was resting on a couch against the wall in the 
room where we had dined. My host, the head of the 
Manchuria Syndicate, was standing beside me, watch- 
ing my recovery with a friendly and relieved expres- 
sion, as though honestly glad to see me myself again. 



The International Spy 



A servant, holding in his hand a bottle which ap- 
peared to contain sal volatile, was looking on from the 
foot of the bed, in an attitude of sympathetic atten- 
tion. The other guests had left the room, and the 
state of the table, covered with half -filled glasses and 
hastily thrown down napkins, made it evident that 
they had cleared out of the way to give me a chance 
to come to. 

The cold air blowing over my forehead told me 
that a window had been opened. A Russian January 
is not favorable to much ventilation. As a rule the 
houses of the well-to-do are provided with double 
windows, which are kept hermetically sealed while 
the rooms are in use. The fact that the dining-room 
was still warm was sufficient proof that the window 
could not have been opened for more than the briefest 
time. 

It was a singular thing that, in spite of these assur- 
ances that my swoon had been an affair of moments 
only, I was seized by an overmastering desire to get 
away from the house immediately. 

I heard M. Petrovitch exclaim — 

" Thank Heaven — ^you are better ! I began to be 
afraid that your seizure was going to last. I must go 
and reassure my guests. The Grand Duke will be 
delighted to hear your are recovering. He was most 
distressed at the attack. 

64 



U^lM^^MI*aMMfali 



Drugged avid Kidnapped 



1 sat upright with an efforti and staggered to my 
feet 

"I am ashamed to have given yon so much 
trouble/' I said. " I can't remember ever fainting 
like this before. Please make my excuses to his im- 
perial highness and the rest of the company." 

" But what are you doing ? " cried M. Petrovitoh in 
dismay. " You must not attempt to move yet." 

" I shall be better in bed/' I answered in a voice 
which I purposely strove to render as faint as possi- 
ble. " If you will excuse me, I will go straight to my 
hotel." 

The promoter's brow wrinkled. I saw that he was 
trying to devise some pretext to detain me, and my 
anxiety to find myself clear of his house redoubled. 

" If you will do me a favor, I should be glad if you 
would let one of your servants come with me as far 
as the hotel," I said. " I am feeling rather giddy 
and weak." 

The secret chief of the War Party caught eagerly 
at the su^estion. It was no doubt exactly what he 
desired. 

*'Mishka," he said, turning to the servant, and 
speaking in Russian, "this gentleman asks you to 
accompany him to his hotel, as he has not yet recov- 
ered. Take great care of him, and do not leave him 

until he is safe in his own bed." 
5 05 



The International Spy 



The man nodded, giving his master a look which 
said — ^I understand what you want me to do. 

Thanks to this request on my part, M. Petroviteh 
raised no further objection to my departure. I stum- 
bled out of the room, pretending to cling to the 
servant's arm for support, and let him help me on 
with my furs, while the porter was summoning a 
sleigh. 

There was a hurried consultation in low tones be- 
tween my host and the porter. Eather to my surprise 
the carriage, when it appeared, was a closed one, 
being a species of brougham on runners instead of 
wheels. I allowed myself to be carried down the 
steps like a child, and placed inside; the door was 
closed, with the windows carefully drawn up, and the 
jailer — ^for such he was to all intents and purposes — 
got on the box. 

The sleigh swept out of the courtyard and across 
the city. Directly it was in the street, I very softly 
lowered one of the windows and peered out. The 
streets seemed to me more deserted than usual at such 
an hour. I was idly wondering whether the immi- 
nence of war could account for this when I heard a 
church clock beginning to strike. 

Once — ^twice — ^the chimes rang out. And then, as 
I was preparing to close the window, they went on a 
third time — ^a fourth ! 

I held my breath, and listened with straining ears 

66 



Drugged and Kidnapped 



as the great notes boomed forth from the distant town 
across the silent streets and houses. 

One — two — three — four — five — six — seven 
— eight — nine — ten — eleven ! 

I understood at last. That drugged sleep had lasted 
an hour and a half, and before I came to myself my 
watch had been deliberately set back to the minute 
at which I lost consciousness, in order to prevent me 
from suspecting that I had been searched, or that 
there was anything wrong about the affair. 

Had I taken time for reflection I should probably 
have made up my mind to lose the Moscow express. 
In order to lull the suspicions of the conspirators, by 
making them believe I was their dupe, I should have 
let myself be taken to the hotel and put to bed in 
accordance with the kind instructions of my late host. 
In that case, no doubt, my watch would have been se- 
cretly put right again while I was asleep. 

But I could not bear the idea of all my carefully 
planned arrangements being upset. Above all things, 
I desired to keep up my prestige with the superin- 
tendent of police, Eostoy, who regarded me as an in- 
vincible being possessed of almost magical powers. 
At the moment when the clock was striking I ought 
to have been walking into his room in the bureau of 
the Third Section. 

Grinding my teeth with vexation, I very gently 

67 



The International Spy 



opened the door of the carriage, which was traveling 
noiselessly over the snow, and slipped out. 

I had taken care to ascertain that no onlooker was 
near. As soon as the sleigh was ^ronnd the comer 
of the street I hailed a public conveyance and directed 
the driver to take me to the police office. 

I was only five minutes late in keeping my appoint- 
ment. Detecting a look of slight surprise on the face 
of the superintendent, I apologized for keeping him 
waiting. 

^' It is my habit to be punctual, even in trifling mat- 
ters like this,^^ I remarked carelessly. " But the fact 
is I have been drugged and kidnapped since I saw 
you, and it took me five minutes to dispose of the 
rascals." 

Rostoy stared at me with stupid incredulity. 

''You are joking. Monsieur V y I suppose," 

he muttered. " But, however, since you have arrived, 
there is your disguise. You will find everything in 
the pockets complete, including a handkerchief 
marked with the initials of the name you have 
chosen.'^ 

Monsieur Eostoy, you are an able man, with whom 
it is pleasure to do business,'^ I responded heartily. 

The Russian swelled with pride at this compliment. 

X hastily changed clothes, shifting nothing from my 

discarded costume except a cigarette case which I 

had filled with the hotel cigarettes. My inquiry as 

68 



teat 



Urugged and Kidnapped 



to the Gregorides brand smoked by M. Petrovitch had 
not yet been answered. 

^^ Surely you are not going to wear that linen shirt 
of yours right across Siberia ! " exclaimed Rostoy, 
who never took his eyes off me. 

I shrugged my shoulders. 

" It is a whim of mine always to wear linen," I 
responded. " I am not a rheumatic subject. And, 
besides, I have no time to lose." 

The superintendent threw a regretful look at the 
flannel shirt he had provided for me. 

As soon as I had finished my preparations I handed 
a thick bundle of ruble notes to the superintendent. 

" As much more when I come back safe," was all I 
said. 

Eostoy snatched at his pay, his eyes sparkling with 
greed. 

" Good-by and a good journey I " he cried as I 
strode out. 

Once in the street, I had no difflcully in finding a 
sleigh, this time an open one, to convey me to the rail- 
way station. I glanced at my watch, which I had set 
by the church clock, and calculated that I should have 
a few minutes to spare. 

But I had not allowed for Bussian ideas as to time. 

As the sleigh drew up at the great terminus, and I 

came in view of the station clock, I saw that it was 

on the stroke of midnight. 

68 



The International Spy 



Flinging the driver his fare I rushed toward the 
barrier. 

" Moscow ! " I shouted to the railway official in 
charge. 

" The train has just left," was the crushing reply. 



70 



CHAPTER VII 



THE BACE BOB 8IBEBIA 




S[K£ mmatural etrain I had put on my 
strengtli, tmdenniued aa it had been by 
tlie drugged vodka, gave way under 
this depressing failure, and for an in- 
stant I seriously thought of abandon- 
ing my effort to catch the Czar's messenger. 

I could leave Colonel Menken to pursue hie jour- 
ney, taking care of himself as best he could, while I 
followed by a later train. But I had little thought 
of that, as to adopt such a course would be to aban- 
don the gallant officer to his fate. Whatever the War 
Syndicate might or might not know or suspect about 
myself, there could be no doubt that they knew all 
there was to know about Menken, and that the Colonel 
would never be allowed to reach Dalny with his 
despatch, alive. 

" Show me the passenger list," I demanded sternly, 
determined to use to the full the advantages conferred 
on me by my imiform. 

The station inspector hastened to obey. He took 

me into the booking office, opened a volume, and there 

I read the name and destination of every passenger 

who had left for Moscow that night. It is by such pre- 

71 



The International Spy 



cautions that the Russian police are enabled to con- 
trol the Russian nation as the warders control the 
convicts in an EngUsh prison. 

At the very head of the list I read the name of 
Colonel Menken, passenger to Dalny, on his imperial 
nxajesty's service. 

It was incredible folly thus publicly to proclaim 
himself as an object of suspicion to the powerful 
clique engaged in thwarting the poUcy of their nomi- 
nal ruler. 

I glanced my eye down the list in search of some 
name likely to be that of an emissary of the Syndi- 
cate. It was with something like a shock that I came 
upon the conspicuous entry — 

" The Princess Y , lady-in-waiting to H. I. M. 

the Dowager Empress, passenger to Port Arthur, on 
a visit to her uncle, commanding one of the forts." 

Stamping my foot angrily, in order to impress the 
railway official, I said — 

" Order a pilot engine immediately to take me to 
Moscow. Tell the driver he is to overtake the ex- 
press, and enter the Moscow station behind it." 

There was some demur, of course, and some delay. 
But I wore the livery of the dreaded Third Section, 
and my words were more powerful than if I had been 
the young man who wears the Russian crown. 

By dint of curses, threats, blows and an occasional 
ruble note, I got my way. Indeed, I managed things 

72 



The Bace for Siberia 



so well that the railway officials did not even ask 
me for my name. I showed them my official badge ; 
but when they made their report in the morning they 
would only be able to say that an inspector of the 
Secret Police had ordered a pilot engine to take him 
to Moscow in pursuit of the midnight express. 

The impression which I was careful to convey, 
without putting it into words, was that I was on the 
track of an absconding Nihilist. 

Within haK an hour of my arrival at the terminus 
a light but powerful locomotive drew up on the main 
line of rails, with everything in readiness for an im- 
mediate start. 

I leaped into the driver^s cab, where I found the 
driver himself and two stokers hard at work increas- 
ing the head of steam, and gave the order to go. 

The driver touched the tap, the whistle rang out 
once, and the wheels began to revolve. Ten seconds 
later we were beyond the station lights and facing the 
four hundred miles of frozen plain that lay between 
us and Moscow. 

Every one has heard the story of this famous piece 
of road. The engineers of the line, accustomed to 
map out their routes in other countries with reference 
to the natural obstacles and the convenience of com- 
merce, waited upon the great autocrat, Nicholas I., 
a very different man from his descendant, and asked 
him for instructions as to laying out the first railway 
in the Bussian Empire. 

73 



The International Spy 



The Czar called for a map of his dominions^ and 
then, taMng a nder in his hand, drew a straight line 
between the old and new capitals. 

And so the line has been made, a symbol to all who 
travel on it of the irresponsible might of the Russian 
CzardonL 

It was not till we were fairly on our way, and the 
speed had risen to something like fifty miles an hour, 
that I realized what I had done in entering on this 
furious race. 

I had never traveled on a detached engine before, 
and the sensation at first was quite unnerving. 

Unlike a motor car, in which the hand of the driver 
has to be perpetually on the steering-gear, and his eye 
perpetually on the alert, the pilot engine seemed to 
be flung forward like a missile, guided by its own 
velocity, and clinging to the endless rails with its 
wheels as with iron claws. With the rush as of wind, 
with the roar as of a cataract, with the rocking as of 
an earthquake, the throbbing thing of iron sprang and 
fled through the night. 

Hour after hour we rushed across the blinding 

desert of snow, in which nothing showed except the 

flying disk of light cast by the engine lamps, and the 

red and white balls of fire that seemed to start, alight, 

and go out again as we frantically dashed past some 

wayside station. 

As the speed increased the light pilot engine, not 

74 




Led forward wiih dull cyM, VJtiwv \. v 
of two red sparks. — Page 75. 



The Race for Siberia 



steadied by a long train of coaches, almost rose from 
the rails as it raced along. Over and over again I 
thanked my stars that there were no curves to be 
taken, and I blessed the memory of that famous ruler 
wielded by the hand of Nicholas I. Here and there, 
at some slight rise in the ground, the engine literally 
did leave the rails and skim through the air for a few 
yards, alighting with a jar that brought my teeth to- 
gether like castanets, and rushing forward again. 

I clung to a small brass hand-rail, and strained my 
eyes through the darkness. I could not have sat down, 
even had there been a seat provided for me — ^the pace 
was too tremendous. I was tired and unwell, and a 
slight feeling of headache and sickness began to gain 
on me, engendered by the vibration of the engine, the 
smell of oil, and the fearful heat of the furnace. 

It was some hours since we had started, but it was 
still pitch dark, with the vdntry blackness of a north- 
em night. I leaned and gazed forward with dull eyes, 
when I was aware of two red sparks that did not grow 
and rush toward us as I expected. 

Were we slackening speed by any chance ? I turned 
to the engine driver, and pointed with my hand. 

The grimy toiler nodded. Then making a trumpet 
of his hands he shouted above the ratUe of the 
[wheels — 

" The rear-lights of the express I '' 



76 



CHAPTER Vin 



TEE OZAB's HBS5SS0SE 




1 DKEW out my watch and glanced at it 
by the light of the flaring Btoke-hola 
It was juat half-past eight 

The time taken np on the journey 
between Petersbui^ and Moscow 
varies greatly according to the atate of the weather 
and the amount of snow on the line. But even in 
the Hiinuner the best trains are allowed twelve hours, 
while the slow ones take nearly twenty-four. The 
special Siberian express was timed to reach the an- 
cient capital of the czars at ten o'clock in the morn- 
ing, and we had overtaken it with rather more than 
an hour to spare. 

I ordered the driver to creep up gradually, but not 
to approach too near the hindmost coach of the train 
in front until Moscow was in sight. 

Obedient to my instructions, he slackened speed by 
degrees, till we were rolling along at thd same rate 
as the express, with a space of three or four hundred 
yards between us, 

Presently a red flag was thrust out from a side win- 
7« 



The Czar^s Messenger 



dow at the rear of the last csoach and waved furiously. 
The driver of my engine responded with first a green 
and then a white signal, indication that there was no 
danger though caution was desirable. 

The express perceptibly quickened its speed, but 
of course without our allowing it to get farther ahead. 
At last the spires of the Kremlin, and the green cop- 
per domes gleamed out across the waste, and I nodded 
to the driver to close up. 

He managed the maneuver with the skill of an 
artist Inch by inch we neared the guard's van in 
front, and our buffers were actually touching as the 
engine in front blew off steam and we slowed along- 
side the Moscow station. 

Before the wheels of the express had ceased to move 
I was out on the platform, and running up to the 
guard of the express. 

" I have come on the pilot engine from Petersburg,^' 
I told him hurriedly. " Tell no one of my arrival. 
Do not report the chase. If you are questioned, say 
that you have orders to say nothing. And now tell 
me which is the train for Dalny and Port Arthur, 
and when does it leave ? " 

The guard, thoroughly cowed, promised implicit 
obedience. He showed me a long corridor train vdth 
handsome sleeping cars and dining saloons, which was 
drawn up ready at another platform. 

" That is the train which goes to Baikal/' he told 

77 



The International Spy 



me. " If the ice on the lake will bear, rails may be 
laid right across it; if not, there will be sleighs to 
transport the passengers to a train on the other side. 
The train leaves at noon." 

I thanked him and strolled off down the platform, 
glancing into the carriages of the newly-arrived train 
as I passed in search of the Czar's messenger. 

I did not anticipate that any harm could have hap- 
pened to him so soon after leaving Petersburg. The 
object of the conspirators would be defeated if Nicho- 
las II. learned of any accident to his messenger in 
time to send another despatch. It was more likely, at 
least so I argued, that the Princess Y would ac- 
company her victim across Siberia, gradually worm- 
ing her way into his confidence, and that only at the 
last moment would she show her hand. 

It was with a slight start that I encountered the 
face of the fair emissary of M. Petrovitch, as she came 
to the door of her sleeping compartment and looked 
out. 

I was delighted to observe that this time she did 
not suspect me. In fact, she evidently mistook me 
for one of the ordinary station officials, for she gave 
me a haughty command : 

" Go and see if there is a telegram for the Princess 

Y — :' 

Making a respectful salute I hastened off in the 

direction of the telegraph office. On the way I in 

78 



The Czar's Messenger 



terrupted a man in uniform carrying an envelope in 
his hand. 

" For the Princess Y ? '' I demanded. 

The man scowled at me and made as if to conceal 
the telegram. I saw that it was a case for a tip and 
handed him a ruble note, on which he promptly parted 
with his trust. 

I turned around, and as soon as the messenger had 
moved off, I tore open the envelope and read the mes- 
sage. Fortunately, it was not in cipher, the rules 
against any such use of the wires, except by the Gov- 
ernment, being too strict. 

This is what I read : 

" Our friend, who is now an inspector, will join 
you at Moscow. Look out for him. He has left his 
luggage with us, but does not know it." 

Accident, which had hitherto opposed my designs, 
was favoring them at last It was clear that Rostoy 
had betrayed me, and that Petrovitch had sent this 
wire to the Princess to put her on her guard. But 
what was the " luggage " which I was described as 
having left in the hands of M. Petrovitch ? 

I thought I knew. 

Crumpling up the tell-tale message in my pocket, I 
darted into the telegraph office, and beckoned to the 
clerk in charge. 

" On his majesty's secret service,'* I breathed in 

his ear, drawing him on one side. I showed him my 

79 



The International Spy 



polioe badge> and added^ ^' An envelope and telegram 
form, quick 1 ^' 

Overwhelmed by my imperative manner, he 
handed me the required artides. I hastily scribbled : 

" Our friend has parted with his luggage, though 
he does not know it He has been unwell, but may 
follow you next week. To save trouble do not wire to 
us till you return." 

Slipping this into the envelope, I addressed it to the 
Frincesd, and hastened back to the carriage where I 
had left her. 

I found her fuming with impatience and scolding 
her maid, who looked on half awake. I handed her 
the bogus telegram with a cringing gesture. She 
snatched at it, tore off the cover and read, while I 
watched her furtively from under my lowered eye- 
lashes. 

The first part of the message evidently gave her the 
greatest pleasure. The second part, it was equally 
evident, puzzled and annoyed her. 

" Fool I What is he afraid of now ? " she muttered 
beneath her breath. 

She stood gnawing her rose-red lips for a moment 
— even a night passed in the train could not make her 
look less charming — ^and then turned to me. 

" That will do. No answer. Here, Marie, give 

this man a couple of rubles." 

I received the gratuity with a look of satisfaction 

60 



Mfa 



Hie Czar's Messenger 



which must have surprised the tired waiting maid. 
In reality I had scored a most important point 
Thanks to my suppression of the first message and 
my addition to the second, I had completely cut off 
communication between the agent of the Syndicate 
and its head in Petersburg, for a time ; while I had 
lulled the beautiful plotter into a false security, by 
which I was likely to benefit. 

My anxieties considerably lightened for the time 
being, I now renewed my search for Colonel Menken. 

The train from Petersburg had emptied by this 
time, so I moved across the station to where the luxu- 
rious Manchurian express was being boarded by its 
passengers. 

I got in at one end, and made my way slowly along 
the corridors, stepping over innumerable bags and 
other light articles. In a comer of the smoking car 
I came at last upon the man I sought. 

Colonel Menken was a young man for his rank, not 
over thirty, with a fine, soldierly figure, handsome 
face and rather dandified air. He wore a brilliant 
uniform, which looked like that of some crack regi- 
ment of Guards. A cigar was in his mouth, and he 
was making a little nest for himself with rugs and 
books and papers, and a box of choice Havanas. A 
superb despatch box, with silver mounts, was plainly 
marked with his initials, also in silver. 

I did not dare to choose a seat for myself in the 

6 81 



The International Spy 



same part of the train as the man whom I was 
anxious to guard. The oppressive powers wielded by 
the police of Russia are tolerated only on one con- 
dition, namely, that they are never abused to the dis- 
paragement of the social importance of the aristoc- 
racy. 

Bearing this in mind, I proceeded to the coach set 
aside for the servants of the rich passengers, and con- 
trived to secure a place close to that occupied in the 
day-time by the maid of the Princess. 

Having more than an hour to spare, I now laid in 
a large stock of Turkish tobacco and cigarette papers, 
so as to have some means of beguiling the time on 
the long, wearisome run across Asia. I also bought 
a second-hand valise, and stocked it modestly with 
clothes. Finally I made a hearty breakfast in the sta- 
tion restaurant, and boarded the train a few minutes 
before it rolled out of Moscow. 

Needless to say, I had introduced myself to the 
superintendent of the train, an official of great dig- 
nity and importance. As a police agent, of course I 
traveled free on the Government lines. The superin- 
tendent was good enough to offer me a spare bed in 
his private cabin at the end of the train, and during 
the run we became the best of friends. 

But I must be excused from dwelling on the de- 
tails of the journey, not the first I had taken on the 
great transasiatic line. My whole energies were ab- 

82 



The Ozark's Messenger 



sorbed in two tasks. In the first place, I had to gain 
the confidence of the maid, Marie, and in the second 
to prevent her mistress gaining the confidence of the 
messenger of the Czar. 

" I hope that message I brought to the Princess did 
not contain any bad news ? '^ I said to Marie as soon 
as I got a chance of addressing her. 

This was when we were fairly on the way. 

After first attending to her mistress, and seeing that 
she was comfortably settled, the maid was at liberty 
to look after herself, and I had seized the opportunity 
to render her a few trifling services with her luggage. 

" I don't know, I'm sure,'' was the answer to my 
question. " The Princess tells me nothing of her se- 
crets." 

" Perhaps the Princess T " 

" Oh, let's call her Sophy," the maid interrupted 
crossly. 

Needless to say I welcomed these symptoms that 
Marie was no great friend of her employer. 

" Perhaps she has no secrets," I continued. " Have 
you been with her long ? " 

" Only six months," was the answer. " And I 
don't think I shall stay much longer. But you're 
quite mistaken if you think Sophy is one of the inno- 
cent ones. She's always up to some mischief or other, 
though what it is, I don't know." 

" If you stay with her a little longer, you may find 

89 



The International Spy 



out And then, if it is anything political, you may 
make a good deal of money out of her/' 

The girl's eyes brightened. 

" Keep your eyes open," I said. " Look out for 
^ny scraps of paper you see lying about. Keep a 
diary of the places Sophy goes to, and the people she 
sees. And when you have anything to tell, let me 
know. I will give you my address in Petersburg. 
And you may trust me to see that you come off well. 

Marie readily agreed to all I asked of her. The 
understanding thus arrived at was destined to be of 
the greatest assistance to me. Indeed, it is not too 
much to say that to this young Russian girl it is due 
that the two greatest Powers in the Old World are not 
at this moment battling on the Afghan frontier. 

We had hardly been an hour under way before I 
saw the two objects of my watchfulness seated side 
by side in the drawing-room car, apparently on the 
friendliest terms. 

Dismayed by this rapid progress, as it seemed, on 
the part of the Princess, I reproached myself for not 
having warned Colonel Menken before we started. 

I resolved to put him on his guard at the earliest 
possible moment, and with that view I hung about 
the smoking-car, waiting till I saw him return to his 
comer. 

This was not for some hours. Fortunately, owing 

to the universal expectation of war, there were not 

84 



«ft 



The Czar's Messenger 



many passengers proceeding to the Far East. The 
train was practically empty, and so when Colonel 
Menken had seated himself once more in the snug 
corner he had prepared for himself, I was able to ap- 
proach him without fear of being overheard. 

He was just lighting a cigar as I came up, and took 
no notice of my respectful salute till he had inhaled 
the tobacco smoke two or three times and expelled it 
through his nostrils to test the flavor. 

At last he turned to me. 

^' Well ? ^^ he said with some sharpness. " What is 
the matter ? " 

" I have seen in the passenger list that you are 
traveling on the service of the Czar," I answered, 
" and I venture to place myself at your orders." 

Colonel Menken scowled at me haughtily. 

" Does that mean that you want a tip ? " he sneered 
" Or has some fool ordered you to shadow me ? " 

" Neither, Colonel," I replied. " I am a servant 
of the Czar, like yourseK, as you may see from my 
uniform, and as I have reason to fear that there is an 
enemy of his majesty on the train, I wish to put you 
on your guard." 

Menken gave a self-confident smile. 

" I am pretty well able to take care of myself, I 

believe," he said boastfully. " As for the Nihilists, 

I no longer believe in their existence. You may point 

out the man you suspect, if you like, of course," 

85 



The International Spy 



" It is not a man^ Colonel, it is a woman." 

" In that case the adventure promises to be inter- 
esting. I do not know any of the women on board ex- 
cept the Princess Y J^ 

" You know her I " I allowed a note of surprise to 
appear in my voice. 

" The Princess is related to me/' the Czar's mes- 
senger declared, with a rebuking frown. " I presume 
she is not the object of your suspicions ? '' 

" And if she were ? " 

" If she were, I should tell you that you had made 
a very absurd mistake, my good fellow. The Princess 
is in the confidence of the Dowager Empress ; she is 
perfectly aware of the object of my mission, and she 
has just promised me that if I carry it out success- 
fully she will become my wife.'' 



SO 




CHAPTER IX 

THB BETBOTHAI. OF DELILAH 

gOLONEL MENKEN regarded me with 
ironical contempt as I tried to apolo- 
gize for Taj hinted distrust of his he- 
trothed. 

" That will do, mj man. I shall 
tell the Princess of your blunder, and I can assure 
you she will be heartily aroused by it." 

" At least you will remember that I wear his im- 
perial majesty's imiform," I ventured. " And, how- 
ever much I have been misled as to the intentions of 
her highness, I submit that I am entitled to secrecy 
on your part." 

" Am I to understand that Eiome one has ^ven you 
orders referring to the Princess ? I thought this was 
simply some idle suspicion of your own ? " 

*' My instructions were to watch over your safety, 
without letting you perceive it, and to take particular 
note of any one who seemed to be trying to form your 
acquaintance on the journey. If you now denounce 
me to her highness, she will be annoyed, and in any 
case I shall be of no further use to you." 

" So much the better," the Colonel said rudely. 
87 



The International Spy 



" I consider your being here at all as an act of im- 
pertinence. If I engage to say nothing to the Princess 
— ^who, as you say, might be annoyed — ^will you 
undertake to leave me alone for the future ? " 

" I will undertake to leave the train at Tomsk," I 
replied. 

Colonel Menken closed with this offer, which was 
meant as a delusive one. I had selected the first im- 
portant stopping-place at which the train waited suffi- 
ciently long for me to procure the materials of a fresh 
disguise. 

I took the train superintendent into my confidence, 
as far as to say that I wished to assume a false char- 
acter for the remainder of the journey in order to be 
better able to play the spy on the object of my sus- 
picion. We agreed that one of the train attendants 
should be put off at Tomsk, and that I should take his 
place. 

After my scene with the Colonel, I could not ven- 
ture to do much in the way of overlooking them. But 
I made the best use of my friendship with Marie, and 
she reported to me regularly what she observed of the 
doings of her mistress. 

" It is my belief that Sophy is going to marry that 

stupid Colonel," she informed me, not long after I 

had heard of the engagement. " Why ? I can't 

think. He has no brains, not much money, and I am 

certain she is not in love with him." 

88 



The Betrothal of Delilah 



" There has been a quarrel of some kind between 
those two," she reported later on, " Colonel Menken 
has been questioning Sophy about her reason for go- 
ing to Port Arthur just now, when it may be attacked 
by the Japanese." 

All this time the Princess had made no move to 
possess herself of the despatch which Menken was 
carrying — ^the real object of her presence on board 
the train. 

When Tomsk was reached, I went off into the town 
and procured different hair and beard so as to effect 
a complete change in my appearance. The disguise 
was clumsy enough, but, after all, neither the Colonel 
nor his companion- had had many opportunities of 
studying my personal appearance. 

In the little cabin of my friend the superintendent 
I carried out the transformation, and finished by don- 
ning the livery of the railway restaurant service. 

Thus equipped, I proceeded to lay the table at 
which the betrothed pair usually took their meals to- 
gether. 

As soon as the next meal, which happened to be 
dinner, was ready, I proceeded to wait upon them. 
They noticed the change of waiters, and asked me 
what had become of my predecessor. 

" He got off at Tomsk," I told them. This was 
true — ^the getting rid of the waiter whose place I 
wished to take had been a simple matter. It must be 

89 



The International Spy 



remembered that I found myself everywhere received 
as an inspector attached to the secret police, the 
dreaded Third Section, and, in consequence, my word 
was law to those I had to deal' with. 

I added with an assumed air of mysterious conse- 
quence, " The Inspector of Police also left the train 
at Tomsk. It is asserted that he is going to make an 
important arrest." 

Colon,el Menken laughed. Then turning to the 
beautiful woman who sat facing him across the small 
table, he said smilingly, 

" It is lucky the inspector did not arrest you, my 
dear." 

" Why, what do you mean ? " she demanded. 

" Simply that this officer, according to his own 
account, was charged to watch over and protect your 
devoted servant, and in the exercise of his functions 
he was good enough to hint to me that you were a 
suspicious character, of whom I should do well to be 
on my guard." 

"Infamous! The wretch! Why didn't you tell 
me this before ? " 

" I promised the fellow not to. He was afraid of 
getting into trouble, and as he had only blundered 
out of zeal, I let him off." 

" And he has left the train. Why, I wonder ? " 

" I ordered him to." 

The Princess T looked less and less pleased. 

90 



The Betrothal of Delilah 



A minute later, I caught her stealthily glancing in my 
direction, and realized that her keen wits were al- 
ready at work, connecting my appearance on the scene 
with the disappearance of the inspector. 

The next day. Colonel Menken and his betrothed 
took their seats at a different table in the restaurant 
of the train. 

I saw the meaning of this maneuver. It was of 

course a test by which the Princess T sought to 

learn if I was a spy, appointed to replace the in- 
spector. I took care not to assist her by following 
them to the new table ; on the contrary, I refused the 
offer of my brother waiter, who was honest enough 
not to wish to take my tips from me. 

When we reached Irkutsk, I had another proof that 
the Princess was beginning to feel uneasy. Marie 
informed me that her mistress had ordered her to go 
into the town and send off a telegram, as she would 
not trust the railway officials. 

The message, which my ally faithfully reported to 
me, was addressed to Petrovitch himself and ran as 
follows : 

Beceiyed wire from you at Moscow reporting our friend ill, and 
telling me not to wire you again till my return. I now fear some 
mistake. All going well otherwise. 

We were carried across the frozen Baikal amid a 

furious snowstorm. Huddled up in thick furs, and 

fighting to keep our blood circulating under the leaden 

91 



The International Spy 



pressure of the cruel frost, there was no time to think 
of conspiracies. 

But on resuming the journey on the other side of 
the lake, I saw that the cunning agent of the War 
Party was maturing some decisive attempt on the 
messenger of peace. The talks of the lovers became 
closer and more confidential, the manner of Colonel 
Menken grew daily more devoted and absorbed, and 
Marie described her mistress as laboring under an 
extraordinary excitement. 

At last, on the very day the train crossed the Chin- 
ese frontier on the way to Mukden, Marie came to 
me with a decisive report. 

" Sophy has won I '^ she declared. " I overheard 
them talking again last night. Ever since they left 
Tomsk they have been having a dispute, Sophy de- 
claring that the Colonel did not love her, because he 
suspected her, and he, the stupid creature, swearing 
that he trusted her entirely. It appears she had got 
out of him that he was carrying a paper of some kind, 
and so she said that unless he gave her this paper to 
keep till they reached Dalny or Port Arthur, she 
would not believe in him, nor have anything more to 
say to him. 

" In the end, she was too many for him. Last 
night he gave her the paper in a sealed envelope, and 
I saw her take it from her breast before she undressed 
last night.^' 



The Betrothal of JDelilah 



" Where is it ? What has she done with it ? '^ I de- 
manded anxiously. 

" I can't tell you that. She had it in her hand 
when she dismissed me for the night. It looked to me 
as though she meant to break the seal and read it." 

Full of the gravest forebodings, I hurried to the 
rear of the train, got out my inspector's uniform, 
though without effecting any change in my facial ap- 
pearance, and made my way to the smoking-car. 

Colonel Menken, who had just finished breakfast, 
was settling himself down to a cigar and an illustrated 
magazine. 

He gazed up at me in astonishment, as he perceived 
the change in my costume. 

" So the Princess was right I " he exclaimed an- 
grily. " You are another policeman." 

I bowed. 

"And charged, like the last, to protect me from 
my cousin and future wife 1 " 

" From the person who has robbed you of the Czar's 
autograph letter to the Emperor of Japan, yes I " 

Menken recoiled, thunderstruck. 

" You knew what I was carrying ? " 

" As well as I know the contents of the telegram 
which the Princess sent from Irkutsk to the head of 
the Manchurian Syndicate — ^the man who has sworn 
that the Czar's letter shall never be delivered." 

Colonel Menken staggered to his feet, bewildered, 

angry, haK induced to threaten, and half to yield. 

93 



The International Spy 



" You must be lying ! Sophy never left my sight 
while we were at Irkutsk ! " 

" We can discuss that later. Will you, or will you 
not, reclaim his majesty's letter — ^the letter entrusted 
to your honor ? " 

Menken turned white. 

" I — ^I will approach the Princess," he stammered, 
obviously divided between fear of losing her, and 
dread of myself and any action I might take. 

" That will not do for me," I said sternly. " I 
can only make you this offer : Come with me at once 
to this lady's sleeping berth and regain the despatch, 
and I will agree to say no more about it ; refuse, and I 
shall report the whole affair to his majesty person- 
ally." 

^^ Who are you ? " inquired the dismayed man. 

" That is of no consequence. You see my uniform 
— ^let that be enough for you." 

He staggered down the car. I followed, and we 
reached the car where the Princess was at the mo- 
ment engaged, with Marie's aid, in putting the last 
touches to her toilet. 

She IcJoked up at our appearance, gave an interroga- 
tive glance first at Menken and then at me, and evi- 
dently made up her mind. 

" What is it, gentlemen ? " 

'^The — ^the paper I gave — ^that you offered to — 

that — ^in short, I want it immediately," faltered my 

companion. 

94 



I 



The Betrothal qf Delilah 



" I have no paper of yours, and I do not know 
what you are talking about, my friend/' said the Prin- 
cess Y with the calmest air in the world. 

Menken uttered a cry of despair. 

" The letter, the letter I gave you last night — ^it 
was a letter from the Czar,'' he exclaimed feebly. 

" I think you must have dreamed it," said the 
Princess with extreme composure. " Marie, have you 
seen any letter about ? " 

" 1^0, your highness," returned the servant sub- 
missively. 

" If you think there is anything here, you are wel- 
come to look," her mistress added with a pleasant 
smile. " As for me, I never keep letters, my own or 
anybody else's. I always tear them up/' 

And with these words, and another smile and a nod, 
she stepped gracefully past us, and went to take her 
seat in the part of the train reserved for ladies. 

Somewhere, doubtless, on the white Manchurian 
plain we had crossed in the night, the fragments of 
the imperial peacemaker's letter were being scattered 
by the wind. 

Menken's face had changed utterly in the last 
minute. He resembled an elderly man. 

" Tell the Czar that I alone am to blame," were his 
last words. 

Before I could prevent him, he had drawn a re- 
volver from his pocket, and put two bullets through 
his head. 

05 




CHAPTER X 

TEB AITBWBB OP THE MIKADO 

' WEEK later, that is to say, on the 8th 
of February, 1904, 1 was in Tokio. 
The behavior of the Princess 

T on hearing of the death of her 

victim had been a strange mixture of 
heartlessness and hysterical remorse. 

At the first sound of the fatal shots, she came rush- 
ing to the scene of the tragedy, and cast herself on 
the floor of the corridor beside the dead man, seizing 
his hands, crying big name aloud, and weeping fran- 
tically. 

When I tried (a raise her, so that the body might 
be removed, she turned on me fiercely. 

" This is your fault I " she cried. " Who are you, 
and how dared you interfere with me ? " 

" As you see by my imiform, I am an inspector of 
police attached to the Third Section." 

She gazed at me searchingly for a moment, and 
then, lowering her voice, and bringing her lips to my 
ear, she said with intense energy : 



The Answer of the Mikado 



" It is a lie. I am here by the orders of the Miiiia- 
ter himself, as you must know well. You are acting 
against us, whoever you are.'' 

" I am acting by order of the Czar," I responded* 

She smiled scornfully. 

" I expect that is another lie. Tou could not have 
got so far as you have unless you had some one else 
behind you. Poor l^icholas ! — ^Every one knows what 
he is, and that he has less power than any other man 
in Russia. Are you Witte's man, I wonder ? " 

" Tou are a bold woman to question me," I said. 
"How do you know that I am not going to arrest 
you for stealing and destroying the Czar's letter ? " 

" I should not remain long under arrest," was the 
significant answer. She gave me another searching 
look, and muttered to herself, " If I did not know 
that he was safe in the hands of my friends in Peters- 
burg I should think you must be a certain Mon- 
sieur " 

She broke ofi without pronouncing my name, and 
turned away. 

At Mukden, the next stopping place, the Prin- 
cess T left the train, no doubt intending to travel 

back to Bussia and report her success. 

In the meantime, I had reason to think she had 
notified her friends in Manchuria to keep an eye on 
me. 

All the way to Dalny I felt by that instinct which 

7 " n 



The International Spy 



becomes second nature to a man of my profession that 
I was imder surveillance. I detected a change in the 
manner of my friend the train superintendent My 
trifling luggage was carefully searched. In the night 
when I was asleep some one went through my pockets. 
1 was able to see that even the contents of my cigarette 
case, which I had not opened since leaving Peters- 
burg, had been turned out and put back again. 

As the train neared Dalny I began to feel a little 
nervous. I had a dread of being stopped on my way 
to embark on board the steampacket which was still 
running to Tokio. 

The train drew up at last, at the end of its five- 
thousand-mile-run, and I stepped off it to the plat- 
form, carrying my valise in my hand. 

The platform was literally swarming with spies, as 
it was easy for a man of my experience to detect. I 
walked calmly through them to the cab-stand, and 
hailed a droshky. 

The driver, before starting off, exchanged a signal 
almost openly with a stout man in plain clothes, who 
dogged me from the railway carriage. 

Presently I sighted the steamer, alongside the prin- 
cipal wharf, with the smoke pouring out of its funnel, 
all ready to start. 

The cabman whipped his horse and drove straight 

past the steamer. 

" Where are you going ? " I shouted. 

1^ 



The Answer qf the Mikado 



" To the Custom House first ; it is the regulation," 
was the answer. 

Taking out my long neglected case, I placed a 
cigarette between my lips, and asked the driver for 
some matches. 

• He passed me a wooden box. I struck several, but 
each went out in the high wind before igniting the to- 
bacco. 

I was making another attempt as the droshky drew 
up outside the steps of the Custom House. I dis- 
mounted negligently, while one of the officials came 
and clutched my luggage. Then I walked slowly up 
the steps, pausing in the porch to strike a fresh 
match. 

A porter snatched the box from my hand. " Smok- 
ing is forbidden," he said roughly. " Wait till you 
are out again." 

I shrugged my shoulders, pinched the burning end 
of the cigarette, which I retained in my mouth, and 
sauntered with an air of supreme indifference after 
the man who was carrying my bag. 

He led me into a room in which a severe-looking 
official was seated at a desk. 

" Tour papers," he demanded. 

I produced the papers with whicH I Had been fur- 
nished by Eostoy. 

The customs official scrutinized them, evidently in 

the hope^ of discovering some flaw. 

99 



The International Spy 



" On what business are you going to ToHo ? " he de- 
manded. 

I smiled. 

*^ Since when have the police of the Third Section 
been obliged to render an account of themselves to the 
officers of the customs V^ 1 asked defiantly. 

^^How do I know that you are not a Japanese 
spyr^ 

I laughed heartily. 

" You must be mad. How do I know that you are 
not a Nihilist ? " I retorted. 

The customs officer turned pale. I saw that my 
chance shot had gone home. The Eussian imperial 
services are honeycombed by revolutionary intrigues. 

"Well, I shall detain your luggage for examina- 
tion," he declared. 

This time I pretended the greatest agitation. Of 
course, the more I resisted the more he insisted. In 
the end he allowed me to depart without my person 
being searched. The fact is I had convinced him that 
he held an important prize in my worthless valise. 

I was just in time to catch the steamer. As I 
crossed the gangway, a man dressed like a coal-trim- 
mer turned on me a last careful scrutiny, and re- 
marked, 

" Your cigarette has gone out. Mister.'' 

" Can you give me a light ? Thank you 1 " I struct 
s match^ drew a puff of smoke^ and handed hivn back 

100 



The Answer qf the Mikado 



the box. Then I walked on board, the gangway was 
drawn in, and the Japanese steamer headed out to the 
open sea. 

On reaching Tokio I experienced some difflcully in 
obtaining an audience of the Japanese ruler. 

I was obliged to announce my name. It will 
hardly be believed, but the chamberlain whom I 
had entrusted with the important secret, brought 
back the answer that the Mikado had never heard 
of mel 

" Tell his imperial majesty that there is no mon- 
arch of Europe, and only two of Asia, who could say 
the same. I am here as the confidential plenipoten- 
tiary of the Czar, with an autograph letter addressed 
to the Mikado, and I respectfully ask leave to present 
it in person," 

Such a demand of course could not be refused. But 
even now the haughty Japanese did not receive me in 
the privacy of his own cabinet. On the contrary, I 
found myself introduced into the State Oouncil- 
Eoom, in which his majesty was seated at a table sur- 
rounded by his chief advisers. 

In particular I remarked the venerable Tamagata, 
conqueror of China, and the round bullet-head of 
Oyama, the future overthrower of Kuropatkin. 

On the table was spread out a large map, or rather 
plan, of the entire theater of war, including Manchu- 
ria, Korea, Japan and the seas between. A man in 

101 



TUe International Spy 



naval iinif orm was standing beside the imperial chair, 
with an expectant look on his face. 

'All eyes were turned upon me at my entrance. 
The Mikado beckoned to me to approach him. 

^^Is it true that you bring me a letter from the 
Bussian Emperor ? " he asked abruptly. " We have 
received information that such a letter was on its way, 
but that the bearer was murdered on the Manchurian 
raiftway four days ago.'' 

" Your majesty's information is substantially cor- 
rect/' I answered. " The messenger, a Colonel Men- 
ken, was seduced into parting with his despatch, and 
committed suicide in consequence." 

" Well, and what about yourself ? " 

" Foreseeing that the unscrupidous men who have 
been trying to force on a war between his Russian 
majesty and your majesty would leave no stone un- 
turned to intercept this despatch, the Czar wrote a 
duplicate with his own hand, which he entrusted to 
me, in the hope that I might baffle the conspirators." 

" Where is it ? " 

" I endeavored to conceal it by unstitching the 
front of the shirt I am wearing, and sewing it up be- 
tween the folds. 

" Unfortunately I was drugged at a dinner party 
in Petersburg just before starting. I was uncon- 
scious for an hour and a half, and I fear that the 

opponents of peace have taken advantage of the oppor- 

102 



The Answer qf the Mikado 



tunity to find and rob me of the letter. But I will see, 
with your majesty's permission." 

The Mikado made no answer. Amid a breathless 
silence, with all the room watching my movements, I 
tore open my shirt-front and extracted a paper. 

It was blank. 

" So," commented the Japanese Emperor, sternly, 
^^you have no such credentials as you boasted of 
having." 

" Pardon me, sire. Anticipating that the War 
Party would suspect the object of my mission, and 
would resort to some such step to defeat it, I pur- 
posely provided them with a document to steal, be- 
lieving that when they had robbed me of it they 
would allow me to proceed unmolested. My real cre- 
dentials are here." 

I drew out my cigarette case, found the partially 
smoked cigarette I had had in my mouth when I ran 
the gauntlet of the spies at Dalny, and proceeded to 
cut off the paper. On the inner surface these words 
were written in the hand of the Czar: 

The bearer of this, M. V , has my full confidence, and is 

authorized to settle conditions of peace. Nioholas. 

r 

As I respectfully placed the scrap of paper, with 
its charred edges, in the Mikado's hand, I was con- 
scious of a profound sensation in the room. Aged 
statesmen and brilliant commanders bent eagerly 

103 



The International Spy 



across the table to learn the character of the message 
thus strangely brought to its destination. 

His majesty read the brief note aloud. It was re- 
ceived with a murmur, not entirely of satisfaction I 
was surprised to note. 

Seeing that the Mikado made no remark, I ven- 
tured to say : 

" I hope that the extreme character of the meas- 
ures adopted by the Czar to assure your majesty of 
his peaceful sentiments will have the effect of con- 
vincing you that they are genuine.'' 

The Emperor of Japan glanced around his council 
board as if to satisfy himself that he and his advisers 
were of one mind before replying: 

" I appreciate the zeal and the extraordinary skill 
with which you have carried out your mission. I re- 
gret that I cannot give you a favorable answer to take 
back to your nation." 

I was thunderstruck at this exordium. Slightlyj 
raising his voice, the Mikado went on : 

" Tell the Emperor of Eussia that I do not dis- 
trust his sincerity, but I distrust his power. The 
monarch who cannot send a letter through his do- 
minions in safety; who has to resort to stratagems 
and precautions like these to overcome the opposition 
of his own subjects, is not the rider of his empire. 

" Why, sir, do you suppose that if I had a message 
to send to my brother in St. Petersburg I should havei 



lAJi 



TTie Answer qf the Mikado 



to stoop to arts like these ? That any subject of mine 
would dare to plot against me, to seduce my mes- 
sengers, to drug and rob them? Incredible! The 
tale you have told me completely confirms everything 
I and my advisers have already heard with regard 
to the Eussian Government. It is a ship without a 
captain, on which the helm is fought for and seized 
by different hands in turn. To-day the real rulers 
of Bussia are the men who are bent on war — and 
who, while we are talking, have actually begun the 
war ! " 

I gazed around the Council-Room, unable to be- 
lieve my ears. 

" Yes,'' the stem sovereign continued, " while you, 
sir, were entering the Inland Sea, charged with this 
offer of peace " — ^his majesty tossed the precious piece 
of paper on the table with a look of disdain — " a Eus- 
sian gunboat, the Korietz, was firing the first shot of 
the war at one of my squadrons off Chemidpo." 

The glances directed by those present at the naval 
officer behind the imperial chair convinced me that 
he had just brought the fatal news to the Council. 

" And now," added the Mikado, " I will give my 
reply to the real masters of Eussia — ^to the directors 
of the Korietz/' 

He nodded to the naval officer, who walked across 

the floor to a box on the wall like a telephone receiver, 

and pressed a button. 

106 



The International Spy 



" That," his majesty explained, " is the signal for 
a flotilla of torpedo boats to enter the harbor of Port 
Arthur and blow up the Russian fleet.'' 

I think a faint cry of remonstrance or misgiving 
must have escaped me. The Japanese monarch 
frowned, and his voice took a still sterner ring. 

" Go back to your imf ortunate master, and tell him 
that when he can send me a public envoy, in the light 
of day, to ask for peace, and to undertake the fulfil- 
ment of the pledges which his Ministers have broken, 
I will grant his request'' 



106 




CHAPTER 51 

WHO SMOKED THE OBKOOBIDES B&jUTD 

I LEFT the presence of the Japanese Em- 
peror deeply disheartened. 

It 18 true that I had myself fore- 
told this failure, and that his Japan- 
ese majesty and his advisers had 
been good enough to compliment me in almost ex- 
travagant terms on the energy and resourcefulneaa 
I had sho^TU in baffling the enemies of peace. 

But I am unaccustomed to defeat, no matter vrhat 
are the odds against me, and I felt that the first point 
in the game had been scored against by the formidable 
woman whose beauty and strangely composite char- 
acter had fascinated me, even while I was coimter- 
mining her. 

For my work was not yet over. Indeed, it had but 
just begun. 

I had not succeeded in averting war between the 
two great Powers of Asia. But I hoped to thwart 
the efforts which I feared would be made to extend 
the conflagration to Europe. 

Aa soon as I had found myself once more on civil- 



The International Spy 



ized groimd, I had despatched a cable to my Paris 
office, announcing my whereabouts and asking for in- 
formation. 

The reader may be excused if he has forgotten a 
little episode which marked my stay in Petersburg. 
I had noticed something peculiar and at the same time 
familiar in the scent of the tobacco smoked by Petro- 
vitch, the financial adventurer whose scheme to en- 
rich himself and a corrupt clique of courtiers out of 
the spoils of Korea and China was the true cause of 
the war. 

By a ruse I had secured one of the cigarettes 
smoked by this dangerous plotter, and having ascer- 
tained that it bore the mark Oregorides, Crown Aa, 
had instructed my staff to ascertain the history of 
this particular make of cigarettes. 

While I was resting in my hotel in Tokio, waiting 
for the reply to my cable, I was honored by a visit 
from no less a personage than Privy Councillor Ka- 
tahashi. President of the Imperial Bank of Japan. 

" I have come," the Privy Councillor explained as 
soon as the door was closed, ^^ to express the high sense 
of your ability and devotion which we all possess, and 
to ask if it is possible for Japan to secure your ser- 
vices.'* 

Deeply gratified by this proposal, I was obliged to 

explain that I was already retained in the interest of 

Eussia. 

108 



Who Smoked the Gregorides Brand 

"But what interest?'' Mr. Katahashi persisted. 
"It is clear that you are not acting on behalf of 
that group which has just succeeded in its pnipose of 
forcing a war." 

" That is so," I admitted. " It is no breach of 
confidence — ^in fact, I serve my employers by assuring 
you that my efforts are directed toward peace." 

" In that case there can he no antagonism between 
us, surely. Is it not possible for you and me — ^I say 
nothing about our respective Governments — ^to co- 
operate for certain purposes ? 

" I know enough of the conditions which prevail 
in the Eussian Court to feel pretty sure that it was 
not Nicholas II. who originally sought you out, and 
entrusted you with this mission," the Japanese states- 
man added. 

" At the close of the last war in this part of the 
world," the Privy Councillor went on, " Japan was 
robbed of the fruit of her victories by an alliance of 
three Powers, Eussia, Germany, and France. This 
time we know that England will support us against 
any such combination. Thanks to King Edward VII. 
we have nothing to fear. His diplomacy, moreover, 
has secured the powerful influence of France on the 
side of peace. Although nominally allied with the 
Czar, we know that the French Grovemment is deter- 
mined to limit the area of the war, and to take no part 
against us, except in one event." 

10» 



The International Spy 



" You mean," I put in, " in the event of an attack 
by England on Russia." 

" Exactly. And therefore we know that King Ed- 
ward is making it his particular care that no cause 
of conflict shall arise." 

He paused, and glanced at me as though he con- 
sidered that he had sufficiently indicated the source 
from which my instructions were received. 

I contented myself with bowing. 

" We know, also, that the most restless and ambi- 
tious of living monarchs has been bending his whole 
thoughts and schemes, ever since he ascended the 
throne, to one supreme end — ^the overthrow of the 
British Empire by a grand combination of all the 
other Powers of the world. If that monarch can force 
on a general strife in which England will be involved 
on the side of Japan, while practically every other 
European Power is leagued against her, M. Petrovitch 
and his timber concessions will have done their work." 

I drew a deep breath as I looked at the Japanese 
statesman with a questioning gaze. 

As if in answer to my unspoken query, a waiter 
of the hotel knocked at the door in the same moment, 
and brought me the long-expected cable from my agent 
in Europe. 

I tore it open and read : 

Cigarettes Gregorides Crown Aa special brand manufactured to 
order of Marx, Berlin, tobacconist to German Emperor. 

110 



Who Smoked the Gregorides Brand 

I looked up from reading the telegram to see the 
eyes of the Japanese Privy Councillor fixed upon 
me with the inscrutable^ penetrating gaze of the 
Oriental. 

" The message you have just received bears on the 
subject of our conversation, does it not ? '^ he in- 
quired, but in the tone of one who does not doubt 
what the answer will be. 

With the caution which has become a habit with 
me, I read the cable through carefully for the second 
time, and then placed it on the fire, where it was in- 
stantly consumed. 

The Japanese statesman smiled. 

" You forget, I think, M. V , that you have 

come here as the emissary of a sovereign with whom 
we are at war, and that, consequently, we cannot 
afford to respect your privacy. 

" I have a copy in my pocket," he went on urbanely. 
"You have felt some curiosity about a particular 
brand of cigarettes, and your friends have just in- 
formed you that they are those supplied to the Ger- 
man Emperor." 

I looked at Mr. Katahashi with new respect 

" Your secret service is well managed, sir," I ob- 
served. 

"Such a compliment from such a quarter is an 

ample reward for what little pains I may have taken." 

" Then it is you who are ? " 

111 



The International Spy 



^^ The organizer of our secret service during the 
war ? — ^I am.'' 

** But you are a banker? '' I turned my eyes to 
the card by which Mr. Eatahashi had announced his 
visit 

The Japanese gave another of his subtle smiles — 
those peculiar smiles of the Oriental which make the 
keenest-witted man of the West feel that he is little 
better than a blunderer. 

" I came here prepared to take you into my con- 
fidence/' he said gravely. " I am well aware that it 
is the only safe course in dealing with the Bismarck 
of underground diplomacy. 

" I am equally well aware," the Privy Councillor 

added, " that a secret confided to Monsieur V is 

as safe as if it had been told in confidence to a priest 
of Buddha, for whom the penalty of betrayal is to be 
flayed aUve,'' 



112 




OHAPTEE Xn 

THX B50ABT BEBYICl! OF JAPAN 

SHEEE years ago," Mr. Katahaahi pro- 
ceeded, " when we first recognized 
that Japan would be obliged to fight 
Kusaia for her existence as a free and 
independent country, his imperial 
majesty the Mikado appointed me head of the in- 
telligence department. 

" I perceived that it would be necesaary for me to 
establish centers in the chief European capitals, and 
to have at my command a corps of agents whose com- 
ings and goings would not attract the attention that 
is Usually given to the movements of persons con- 
nected with the staff of an embassy. 

" In our case precautions were necessary which 
would not have been recognized in the eaao of another 
country. 

" On the one hand, our Gkivemment has laid to 
heart the profomid advice of Herbert Spencer, that 
whatever is done for Japan should be done by Japan- 
ese. 
*' On the other hand, our people have diaracteristic 



The International Spy 



racial features which make it practically impossible 
for a Japanese to disguise himself as a Western Eu- 
ropean, so as to deceive European eyes. 

" It was therefore necessary to provide an excuse 
for distributing Japanese agents over the West with- 
out the true reason of their presence being known. 

" I solved this problem by founding the Imperial 
Bank of Japan." 

" But, surely ! " I exclaimed, " the Imperial Bank 
of Japan is a hona fide concern ? Its shares are regu- 
larly quoted on the stock exchanges. It negotiates 
loans, and carries on the ordinary business of a 
bank ? " 

"Certainly. Why not? You forget that Japan is 
not a rich country. What we lack in gold, we are 
obliged to make up in ingenuity and devotion. 
Thanks to this idea of mine, the secret service of 
Japan pays for itself, and even earns a small profit.'' 

It gave me something like a cold shock to compre- 
hend the character of this people whom the Eussians 
had so recklessly provoked to draw the sword. 

I thought of the intelligence departments of some 

Western Powers, of the rank corruption that reigned 

on the Neva, where every secret had its price ; of the 

insane conceit of Berlin, which had forgotten nothing 

and learned nothing since the days of Moltke ; of the 

luxurious laziness of Pall Mall, where superannuated 

soldiers dozed in front of their dusty pigeon-holes 

114 



The Secret Service qf Japan 



after apoplectic lunches, and exercised their wits 
chiefly in framing evasive answers suited \p the intel- 
ligence of the House of Commons. 

And beside these pictures I placed this of the pros- 
perous commercial house, founded by the man before 
me, a man whose salary would probably be sniffed at 
by a deputy-assistant controller in the British War 
Office. 

A bank, paying its way, and adding to the revenues 
of Japan, and yet every member of its staff a tireless 
spy, ready to go anywhere and risk everything on be- 
half of his native country I 

Mr. Katahashi seemed to ignore the effect produced 
on my mind by his modest explanation. 

" I have told you this,'' he resumed, " because if I 
can succeed in satisfying you that we are both work- 
ing for the same ends, or at least against the same 
enemy, I hope it will be agreeable to you to co- 
operate with me.'' 

I drew my brows together in anxious thought. In 
spite of the flattery and deference of the Privy Coim- 
cillor I could not but feel that I should be the junior 
partner in any such combination as he proposed, or, 
rather, I should find myself an instrument in the 
hands of one whose methods were strange to me. 

" Although his imperial majesty was not familiar 
with your name, you must not suppose that your repu- 
tation is not known in the right quarters. I have a 

115 



The International Spy 



very fuU report on your work in my office. Ihadin- 
tended from the first to engage your services if we 
required any Western aid ; and, as a matter of fact, I 
was on the eve of sending you a retainer, when I 
heard I had been anticipated by '' 

" By Lord Bedale,'' I put in swiftly. 

"By Lord Bedale, certainly," the Japanese ac- 
quiesced with a polite bow and smile. 

" After your interview with him, I lost sight of 
you," my extraordinary companion went on. " Tour 
wonderful transformation into a Little Englander of 
the Peace-at-any-Price school threw my agents off the 
scent But I heard of your interview with Nicholas 
IL" 

"Toudidl" 

Mr. Katahashi nodded. 

"I recognized you in that transaction. I even 
guessed that you might make an attempt to carry 
through a message from the Czar. But, knowing the 
influences arrayed against you, I never expected you 
to succeed. Tour appearance in our Council Room 
was a triumph on which I congratulate you warmly. 

" And now," the Mikado's Privy Councillor con- 
tinued, " there remain two questions : 

" Supposing you are satisfied that the real author 
of this war is not any one in Eussia, but a certain 
monarch who smokes cigarettes made by the house of 
Grogoiides— 

iia 



TTie Secret Service of Japan 



" And that the same ambitious ruler is now weav- 
ing his snares to entangle Great Britain, in short your 
own employer, the '' 

" Marquis of Bedale,'' I again slipped in. 

Again the same polite but incredulous bow and 
smile from the Japanese statesman. 

" Would you be willing to accept a retainer from 
us?'' 

I sat upright, frowning. 

The somewhat haughty attitude of the Emperor of 
Japan still rankled within me. 

^' I will accept a retainer from his majesty the 
Mikado,'' I announced stiffly. " From no one else." 

Mr. Katahashi looked thoughtful. 

" I will see what can be done," he murmured. 
" The second question " 

There was a momentary hesitation in his manner. 

" I have just spoken to you of the precept of the 
great English philosopher." 

" It was, if I remember rightly, that you should 
employ only Japanese in the service of Japan ? " 

The Privy Councillor bowed. 

" Therefore, you will see, we are obliged to make 
a proposal which may seem to you unusual — ^perhaps 
unreasonable." 

" And this proposal is ? " I asked, with undisguised 

curiosity. 

" That you should become a Japanese," 

117 



1 



The International Spy 



I threw myself back in my chair, amazed. 

" Your Excellency, I am an American citizen." 

" So I have understood." 

" An American citizen is on a level with royalty." 

" That is admitted." 

" Even the Dowager Empress of China, when en- 
gaging me in her service, though she raised my an- 
cestors to the rank of marquises, did not ask me to 
forego my citizenship of the United States." 

" That is not necessary," the Privy Councillor pro- 
tested. 

" Explain yourself, if you will be so good." 

" A man may be an American citizen, although by 
birth he is a Frenchman, a German, or even a negro. 
You yourself are a Pole, I believe." 

I could only bow. 

" Now I do not propose that you should relinquish 
your political allegiance, but only that you should 
exchange your Polish nationality for a Japanese one." 

" But how, sir ? " 

" It is very simple. By being adopted into a 
Japanese family." 

I sat and stared at the Japanese statesman, with 
his mask-like face and impenetrable eyes. I seemed 
to be in some strange dream. 

Who shall judge the ways of the Asiatic! This 

daring organizer, a match for the most astute minds 

of the West, believed that he could only make sure of 

118 



The Secret Service qf Japan 



fidelity by persuading me to go through what seemed 
the comedy of a mock adoption, a ceremony like the 
blood brotherhood of an African tribe. 

" And suppose I consent, into what family do you 
purpose to introduce me ? '^ 

The Privy Councillor's look became positively af- 
fectionate as he responded : 

" If you would honor me by becoming my kins- 
man ? " 

I rose to my feet, shaking my head slowly. 

" I appreciate the compliment your Excellency pays 
me. But, as we have just now agreed, an American 
citizen has no equals except royalty. Let us return 
to the Gferman Emperor and his designs. If I can- 
not serve you directly I may be able to do so indi- 
rectly.'' 

The Japanese made no attempt to press his pro- 
posal. 

Instead he plunged into a discussion of the in- 
trigues which radiated from Berlin. 

" In nearly all the international difficulties and 
disagreements of the last twenty years," he said, " it 
is possible to trace the evil influence of Germany. 

" To (Jerman sympathy, a secret encouragement, 

was due the wanton invasion of Cape Colony by the 

Boers. To the Kaiser, and his promises of support, 

was due the hopeless defiance of the United States by 

Spain. The same Power tried to drag Great Britain 

119 



The International Spy 



into collision with your Republic over the miserable 
concerns of Venezuela. For years, Gfermany has 
been secretly egging on the French to raise troubles 
against the English in Egypt. In the same spirit, the 
Sultan has been abetted, first against England and 
next against Bussia. 

" All these schemes have been spoiled by the action 
of King Edward VII. in establishing cordial rela- 
tions with France, and even to a certain extent with 
Bussia. 

" Now Wilhelm 11. has taken advantage of the at- 
traction of France to England, to draw nearer to Rus- 
sia. He has secured in his interest some of the most 
influential personages at the Russian Court. The 
Anglophobe grand dukes, the fire-eaters of the Ad- 
miralty, are all his sworn allies. 

" But that is not the worst. 

" By some means which I have not yet been able 
to trace, the Kaiser seems to have acquired a peculiar 
hold over Nicholas II. 

" The whole policy of Bussia seems to be tim^ed 
by this influence Even where the instigation of ^i^ 
many is not directly apparent, yet in a hundred ways 
it is clear that the Bussian Government is playing the 
German game. The cause of all this is a riddle, a rid- 
dle which it is for you to solve.'^ 

"For me? ^' 

The words escaped me involuntarily. I had 

120 



The Secret Service of Japan 



listened with growing uneasiness to the Privy Coun- 
cillor's revelations. 

" Undoubtedly. You have facilities which no one 
else possesses. You enjoy the confidence of the Czar. 
You cannot be suspected of any selfish designs, still 
less of any hostile feeling against Wilhelm II., who is 
understood to be almost your personal friend.'^ 

" I never allow personal friendships to influence 
me in the discharge of my duty." 

" It is because I believe that, that I am talking to 
you like this," Mr. Katahashi responded quickly, 

" Well ! " he added after a short silence, " what do 
you say ? " 

" I must have the night to decide." 

The Japanese Privy Councillor rose to say good-by. 

After he had gone I sat up late into the night con- 
sidering how far I could serve my employer in Eng- 
land by entering into the projects of the secret service 
of Japan. 

In the morning, I was still undecided, but on the 
whole it seemed to me that it would be better to act 
independently. 

I was considering how to convey this decision to 
the Mikado's minister, when he again presented him- 
self before me. 

His manner was deeply agitated. It was evident 
that he came to make a communication of the highest 
importance. 

in 



The International Spy 



Instead of taking the chair I offered him, he stood 
regarding me with an expression that seemed one of 
awe. 

" Monsieur V y^^ he said at length, " your con- 
ditions are accepted by his imperial majesty/' 

" What conditions ? " I asked, bewildered for the 
moment. 

"Last night you informed me that an American 
citizen occupied the same rank as royalty.'' 

" Well ? " 

" The Mikado offers to make you a member of the 
imperial family by adoption, and one of his majesty's 
cousins has consented to make you his son ! " 



122 



CHAPTER Xm 



HIS lUPEBIAL HIQEITESB 




AN these days, when princes resign their 
rank to marry commoners, and queens 
elope with tutors, it is probable that 
most Western minds will see nothing 
out of the way in the condescension 
of the Japanese ruler in admitting a diplomatio 
agent to the honor of the imperial cousinship. 

But the dynasty of Japan is the most illustrious in 
the world, excepting only that of Great Britain. Like 
Edward VIL, the Hikado traces his lineage back to 
pagan gods. From the days of the famous Empress 
Jimmu, an unbroken line of sacred sovereigns has 
filled the throne of the Kealm of the Kising Sun dur- 
ing more than two thousand years. 

Mr. Katahashi was evidently pleased to see that I 
appreciated to the full the tremendous honor accorded 
tome. 

" An imperial carriage is waiting to convey you to 
the Palace," he said. " But it will not be becoming 
for you to wear that uniform. I have brou^t you a 
Japanese dress." 



The International Spy 



An attendant came into the room bearing a gor« 
geous robe of green silk embroidered with golden 
chrysanthemums. 

I put it on like one in a dream. The Privy Coun- 
cillor with his own hands girt around my waist the 
two weapons, sacred from time immemorial to the use 
of the Japanese noble, the sword with which to be- 
head his friend, and the dagger with which to dis- 
embowel himself. 

Needless to say, I had no expectation that I should 
ever have occasion to regard these magnificently em- 
bellished weapons in any other light than as orna- 
mental badges of rank. 

As we rode to the Palace, I could not forbear con- 
trasting this splendid treatment with that which I 
had been accustomed to receive from some of the Eu- 
ropean sovereigns to whom I had rendered important 
services. 

Even the German Kaiser, who trusted me more 
than the head of his own police, who talked to me 
almost on the footing of an intimate friend, had never 
offered me so much as the coveted " von ^' before my 
name — ^had not given me even the pretty Red Eagle 
which is lavished on second-rate generals and lords- 
in-waiting. 

I became well-nigh appalled as I contrasted the 
sluggish conversation, the hide-bound officialism, the 
stereotyped and sleepy methods of the Western Pow- 

124 



His Imperial Hiffhness 



ers with the sleepless energy, the daring initiative, 
the desperate industry and courage of this rejuvenated 
Eastern race. 

What could any of these obsolete European Govern- 
ments effect against a nation which was really a vast 
secret society of forty-five millions, directed by a 
sacred chief, and wielding all the mechanical re- 
sources of the West with the almost inhuman subtlety 
and ruthlessness of the Orient ? 

" Anything can be done for money/' This maxim, 
which is forever on the lips of Bussian statesmen, no 
longer sounded true in the meridian of Tokio. 

The ruler of Japan had not offered me so much as 
a yen. Nay, it was clearly expected and intended 
that I should devote myself to the service of my new 
country without pay, and with the same single-hearted 
devotion as Mr. Katahashi himself. The Mikado 
was going to enroll in his services as an unpaid volun- 
teer the most highly-paid, in other words, the most 
trusted and feared, secret service agent of two hem- 
ispheres. 

And it was to cost him ? An embroidered garment 
and two sentences spoken in a private audience I 

Such are the methods of Japan ! 

On our arrival at the Palace we were received by 
a chamberlain, who conducted us by the private stair- 
case to the Hall of the Imperial Family. 

The Hall is an imposing room, hung with portraits 

125 



The International Spy 



of deceased mikados. A single chair, decorated with 
the emblem of the Rising Sim, stood at the upper 
end. 

Almost as soon as we had taken our places, a door 
behind the chair was thrown up, and a number of the 
officers of the household, all wearing the ancient na- 
tional costume, filed in, and grouped themselves 
around the imperial chair. 

Then a silver bell sounded, and his imperial and 
sacred majesty, Mutsuhito CXXL, Mikado, walked 
slowly forward into the Hall, accompanied by his son 
and heir, the Crown Prince Toshihito, and an elderly 
man, attired with great richness, who was, as my 
guide whispered to me, his imperial highness Prince 
Yorimo, second cousin to the Emperor, and the man 
who had consented to be my titular father. 

The ceremony was brief but impressive. I could 
not but be struck by the contrast between the two 
Mikados — ^the one whom I had seen yesterday, an 
alert statesman, wearing Western clothes, and speak- 
ing French with hardly a trace of accent, and the one 
before me now, a solemn, pontifical figure, in his im- 
memorial robes, moving, speaking with the etiquette 
of a bygone age. 

Everything passed in the Japanese language, of 
which I did not then know a single word. 

Mr. Katahashi did his best to provide a running 

translation, whispering in my ear, and prompting me 

126 



His Imperial Highness 



with the Japanese words which it was necessary for 
me to pronounce. 

As far as I could understand, Prince Torimo asked 
permission of the Emperor to adopt a son, as he was 
childless and desired to have some on who would sac- 
rifice to his own spirit and those of his father and 
grandfather after he was dead. 

The Mikado graciously consenting, I was brought 
forward, and made to renounce my own family and 
ancestors, and promise to sacrifice exclusively to those 
of my new father. 

Prince Yorimo next brought forward a robe em- 
broidered with the imperial emblems, the most promi- 
nent of which was the Rising Sun. I was divested of 
the dress lent me by Katahashi, and my adoptive 
father fiung the imperial garment over my shoulders. 

The girding on of the samurai weapon followed, 
and my father addressed me a short exhortation, bid- 
ding me hold myself ready at all times to obey the 
will of the Divine Emperor, even to the point of com- 
mitting seppuku at his command. 

Seppuku is the correct name of the rite known in 
the West by the vulgar name of hara-kiri, or the 
" happy despatch." It is a form of voluntary execu- 
tion permitted by the ancient laws of Japan to men 
of noble rank, much as European nobles were allowed 
to be beheaded instead of being hanged. 

I was then permitted to kiss the hand of Prince 

127 



rtrifa 



The International Spy 



Yorimo, who formally presented me to the Mikado, 
whose hand also I had to kiss, kneeling. 

That was the whole of the ceremony, at the close 
of which Mr. Katahashi bade me a temporary fare- 
well, and my princely father carried me off to a ban- 
quet in his own mansion. 

Tedious and uninteresting as I fear these details 
must seem to the reader, I have thought it right to 
record them as an illustration of the spirit of Japan, 
of that country of which I am proud to be an adopted 
son. 

The moment we had quitted the Hall of the Im- 
perial Family, Prince Yorimo began to talk to me in 
French. 

He proved to be a most fascinating companion. Old 
enough to remember the feudal age, which was still 
in full vigor in Japan forty years ago, he had since 
mastered most of the knowledge of the West. 

I soon found that the Prince was by no means 
disposed to treat the adoption as a mere form. It 
was evident that the old gentleman had taken a strong 
fancy to me. He gave me a most affectionate welcome 
on the threshold of his house, and immediately call- 
ing his servants around him, introduced me to them 
as their future master, and bade them obey me as 
himself. 

I was more touched than I care to say by this kind 
treatment My own parents have long been dead; 

^ 128 



His Imperial Highness 



I know nothing of any other relations, if I have any ; 
I have long been a wanderer and an adventurer on 
the face of the earth, and now, at last, I felt as though 
I had found a home. 

Something of this I tried to convey to his imperial 
highness, 

"My son," he replied with deep tenderness, "I 
feel that to me you will be a son indeed. Ton shall 
learn the language of our beautiful country, you shall 
grow used to our national ways. Before long you will 
let me provide you with a daughter of the Chrysanthe- 
mum to be your wife, and my grandchildren shall be 
Japanese indeed. 

A sound of bells was heard outside. 

" My friends are coming to pay the customary con- 
gratulation," the aged prince explained. "As it is 
necessary that you should have a name suited to your 
new rank, I ask you to take that of my father, Matsu- 
kata." 

A few words of direction were spoken to the stew- 
ard of the chambers, who went out. Immediately 
afterward he returned, throvnng open the doors 
widely, and announced: 

" The Marquis Tamagata to congratulate his im- 
perial highness Prince Matsukata ! " 

And the Prime Minister of Japan came toward me. 



129 



CHAPTER XIV 



THE SUBIUBINB HINE 




JAVING told the reader as mueli as was 
necessary to enable him to underatand 
my Babsequent proceedings, and the 
real forces at work in the underground 
struggle which produced the tragedy 
of the So^er Bank, I will suppress the remainder 
of my adventures in Tokio. 

"When I left the capital of my new country I wore 
around my neck, under the light shirt of chain mail 
without which I have never traveled for the last 
twenly years, a golden locket containing the miniature 
portrait of the loveliest maiden in the East or in the 
West 

It was a pledge. When little, tender fingers had 
fastened it in its place, little moving lips had whis- 
pered in my ear, " Till peace is signed I " 

I had decided to return to ihe capital of what was 
now the country of my enemies, by much the same 
route as I had left it 

To do so, it was necessary to run the blockade of 

Port Arthur, or rather to feign to do so, for the 

130 



The StibTnarine W,ne 



Japanese Minister of Marine had been asked by my 
friend Katahashi to give secret instructions to Ad- 
miral Togo on my behalf. 

In order to ensure a welcome from the Russian 
commander, and to dispel any suspicions, I planned to 
take in a cargo of Welsh steam coal. 

Through an agent at Yokohama I chartered a Brit- 
ish collier lying at Chi-f u, with a cargo for disposal. 
Leaving the Japanese port on a steamer bound for 
Shanghai, I met the collier in mid-ocean, and trans- 
ferred myself on board her. 

As soon as I had taken command, I ordered the 
skipper to head for Port Arthur. 

This was the first intimation to him that he was 
expected to run the blockade, and at first he refused. 

" I'm not afraid — ^myself," the sturdy Briton de- 
clared, " but I've got a mixed crew on board, Germans 
and Norwegians and Lascars, and all sorts, and I can't 
rely on them if we get in a tight place. 

I glanced around at the collection of foreign f aces; 
and drew the captain aside. He, at least, was an 
Englishman, and I therefore trusted him. 

" There is no danger, really," I said. " Admiral 
Togo has had secret orders to let me through. This 
cargo is merely a pretext." 

The rough sailor scratched his head. 

" Well, maybe you're telling the truth," he grunted. 
" But, dang me, if I can get the hang of it. You 



131 



The International Spy 



miglit belong to any country almost by the cut of your 
jib ; you say youVe fixed things up with the blessed 
Japs, and you're running a cargo of coal for the 
blessed Eooshians. It's queer, mortal queer, that's all 
I can say. Howsomdever " 

I took out a flask of three-star brandy, and passed 
it to the doubting mariner. 

He put it first to his nose, then to his lips. 

" Ah I Nothing wrong about that, Mister," he pro- 
nounced, as he handed back the flask. 

" It's a fifty-pound job for yourself, no matter what 
becomes of the cargo," I insinuated. 

The worthy seaman's manner underwent a magic 
change. 

" Port your helm I " he yelled out suddenly and 
sharply to the man at the wheel. " Keep her steady 
nor'-east by nor*, and a point nor*. Full steam ahead 1 
All lights out ! And if one of you lubbers so much as 
winks an eyelid, by Gteorge, I'll heave him over- 
board ! " 

The crew, who had shown a good many signs of 
uneasiness since my coming over the side, seemed to 
think this last hint worth attending to. They slunk 
forward to their duties, leaving the captain and my- 
eelf to pace the quarter-deck alone. 

We steamed swiftly through the darkness till we 
began to see the search-lights of the Japanese fleet 
like small white feathers fluttering on the horizon. 

132 



TTie Submarine Mine 



*' Oome up on the bridge/' the skipper advised. 
" Got a revolver handy ? '' 

I showed him my loaded weapon. 

*^ Right ! I ain't much afraid of the Japs, but we 
may have trouble with some of that all-sorts crew I've 
got below." 

By and by the white plumes became bigger. All 
at once a ship lying dark on the water, scarcely a mile 
away on the weather-bow, spat out a long ribbon of 
light like an ant-eater's tongue, and we found our- 
selves standing in a glare of light as if we were 
actors in the middle of a stage. 

There was a howl from below, and a mixed body 
of Lascars, headed by one of the Germans, rushed 
toward the helm. 

" Back, you milk-drinking swabs I " the skipper 
roared. « As I'm a living man, the first one of you 
that lays a hand on the wheel, I'll fire into the 
crowd. 

" Hark ye here ! " their commander said with rough 
eloquence. " In the first place, it don't follow that 
because you can see a flashlight the chap at t'other end 
can see you. Second place, no ship that does see us is 
going to sink us without giving us a round of blank 
first, by way of notice to heave to. Third place, if we 
do get a notice, I'm going to stop this ship. And, 
fourth place, you've got five seconds to decide whether 
you'd rather be taken into Yokohama by a prize crew 

133 



The International Spy 



of Japs, or be shot where you stand by me and this 
gentleman.^' 

The crew turned tail. Before five seconds had 
elapsed, not a head was to be seen above decks, except 
that of the man at the helm, who happened to be a 
Dane, to be first mate, and to be more than three-parts 
drunk. 

Needless to say the warning shot was not fired. 

We steamed steadily on through the fleet, every ves- 
sel of which was probably by this time aware of our 
presence. The search-lights flashed and fell all 
around us, but not once did we have to face again 
that blinking glare which tells the blockade runner 
that the game is up. 

But there was another peril in store on which we 
had not reckoned. The sea all around Port Arthur 
had been strewn with Eussian mines ! 

Unconscious of what was coming, we steamed gaily 
past the last outlying torpedo-boat of Admiral Togo's 
squadron. 

" Through I '^ cried my friend the skipper, point- 
ing with a grin of delight at the Port Arthur lights 
as they came into view around the edge of a dark cliff. 

And even as he looked and pointed, there was a 
terrific wave, a rush, a flare and a report, and I felt 
myself lifted off my feet into mid-air., 

I fancy I must have been unconscious for a second 
or two while in the air, for the splash of the sea as I 

134 



The Svbmarine Mine 



struck it in falling seemed to wake me up like a cold 
douche. 

My first movement, on coming to the surface again, 
was to put my hand to my neck to make sure of the 
safety of the precious locket which had been placed 
there by my dear little countrywoman. 

My second was to strike out for a big spar which 
I saw floating amid a mass of tangled cordage and 
splinters a few yards in front of me. 

Strange as it may seem, only when my arms were 
resting safely on the spar, and I had time to look 
about me and take stock of the situation, did I realize 
the extreme peril I had been in. 

Most dangers and disasters are worse to read about 
than to go through. Had any one warned me before- 
hand that I was going to be blown up by a mine, I 
should probably have felt the keenest dread, and con- 
jured up all sorts of horrors. As it was, the whole 
adventure was over in a twinkling, and by the great- 
est good luck I had escaped without a scratch. 

By this time the forts at the entrance to Port Ar- 
thur, attracted, no doubt, by the noise of the ex- 
plosion, were busily searching the spot with their 
lights. 

The ejBFect was truly magnificent. 

From the blackness of the heights surrounding the 

famous basin, fiery sword after fiery sword seemed 

to leap forth and stab the sea. The wondrous blades 

135 



The International Spy 



of light met and crossed one another as if some great 
archangels were doing battle for the key of Asia. 

The whole sea was lit up with a brightness greater 
than that of the sun. Every floating piece of wreck- 
age, every rope, every nail stood out with unnatural 
clearness. I was obliged to close my eyes, and protect 
them with my dripping hand. 

Presently I heard a hail from behind me. I turned 
my head, and to my delight saw the brave skipper of 
the lost ship swimming toward me. 

In another dozen strokes he was alongside and cling- 
ing with me to the same piece of wood, which he said 
was the main gaff. 

He was rather badly gashed about the head, but not 
enough to threaten serious consequences. So far as 
we could ascertain, the whole of the crew had per- 
ished. 

I confess that their fate did not cost me any very 
great pang, after the first natural shock of horror had 
passed. They owed their death to their own lack of 
courage, which had caused them to take refuge in the 
lowest part of the ship, where the full force of the ex- 
plosion came. The captain and I, thanks to our posi- 
tion on the bridge, had escaped with a comparatively 
mild shaking. 

The steersman would have escaped also, in all prob- 
ability, had he been sober. 

In a very short time after the captain had joined 

i3e 



The Svbmarine Mine 



me, our eyes were gladdened by the sight of a launch 
issuing from the fort to our assistance. 

The officer in charge had thoughtfully provided 
blankets and a flask of wine. Thus comforted, I was 
not long in fully recovering my strength, and by 
the time the launch had set us on shore my com- 
rade in misfortune was also able to walk without 
difficulty. 

The lieutenant who had picked us up showed the 
greatest consideration on learning that we had been 
blown up in an attempt to run a cargo of coal for the 
benefit of the Russian fleet. On landing we were 
taken before Admiral Makharoff, the brave man whom 
fate had marked out to perish two months later by a 
closely similar catastrophe. 

The story which I told to the Admiral was very 
nearly true, though of course I suppressed the inci- 
dents which had taken place in Tokio. 

I said that I had been charged to deliver a private 
communication from the Czar to the Mikado, sent in 
the hope of averting war, that I had arrived too late, 
and that, having to make my way back to Petersburg, 
I had meant to do a stroke of business on the way on 
behalf of his excellency. 

My inspector's uniform, which I had resumed on 
leaving Yokohama, confirmed my words, and Admiral 
Makharoff, after thanking me on behalf of the navy 
for my zeal, dismissed me with a present of a thou- 

137 



The International Spy 



sand rubles, and a permit to travel inland from Port 
Arthur. 

!Ef eedless to say I did not forget to say good-by to 
my brave Englishman, to whom I handed over the 
Eussian AdmiraFs reward, thus doubling the amount 
I had promised him for his plucky stand against the 
mutineers. 

I have hurried over these transactions, interesting 
as they were, in order to come to the great struggle 
which lay before me in the capital of Kussia. 



138 




CHAPTER XV 

THS ABTIBEB OF NICHOLAS U 

'^Y the second week in Marcli I was back 
in Petersburg. 

On the long journey across Asia, I 
had had time to mature my plans, with 
the advantage of knowing that the real 
enemy I had to £ght was neither M. Petroviteh nor 

the witching Princess Y , but the Power which 

was using them both as its tools. 

It was a frightful thing to know that two mighty 
peoples, the Japanese and Russians, neither of which 
really wished to fight each other, had been locked in 
strife in order to promote the sinister and tortuous 
policy of Germany. 

So far, the German Kaiser had accomplished one- 
half of his program. The second, and more im- 
portant, step would be to bring about a collision be- 
tween the Russians and the English. 

Thus the situation resolved itself into an under- 
ground duel between Wilhelm 11. and myself, a duel 
in which the whole future history of the world, and 
possibly the very existence of the Britiah Empire, 
hung in the balance. 



0^ 



The International Spy 



And the arbiter was the melancholy young man 
who wandered through the vast apartments of his pal- 
ace at Tsarskoe-Selo like some distracted ghost, wish- 
ing that any lot in life had been bestowed on him 
rather than that of autocrat of haK Europe and Asia. 

It was to Nicholas that I first repaired, on my re- 
turn, to report the result of my mission. 

I obtained a private audience without difficulty, 
and found hia majesty busily engaged in going 
through some papers relating to the affairs of the 
Naw. 

" So they have not killed you, like poor Menken," 
he said with a mixture of sympathy and sadness. 

" Colonel Menken killed I " I could not forbear ex- 
claiming. 

" Yes. Did you not hear of it ? A Japanese spy 
succeeded in assassinating him, and stealing the 
despatch, just before Mukden. A lady-in-waiting at- 
tached to the Dowager Czaritza happened to be on the 
train, and brought me the whole story." 

I shook my head gravely. 

" I fear your majesty has been misinformed. 
Colonel Menken committed suicide. I saw him put 
the pistol to his head and shoot himself. His last 
words were a message to your majesty." 

The Czar raised his hand to his head with a despair- 
ing gesture. 

" Will these contradictions never end I " he ex- 

140 



J%e Adviser qf Nicholas II 



daimed. ^^ Beallj; sir^ I hope you have made a mia- 
take. Whom can I trust 1 *' 

I drew myself up. 

"I have no desire to press my version on ycTti, 
sire," I said coldly. " It is sufficient that the Colonel 
was robbed, and that he is dead. Perhaps Princess 
Y has also given you an account of my own ad- 
ventures ? " 

Nicholas IL looked at me distrustfully. 

^^ Let us leave the name of the Princess on one 
side/' he said in a tone of rebuke. " I have every 
reason to feel satisfied with her loyalty and zeaL'* 

I bowed, and remained silent 

" You failed to get through, I suppose," the Ozar 
continued, after waiting in vain for me to speak. 

"I beg pardon, sire, I safely delivered to the 
Emperor of Japan your majesty's autograph on the 
cigarette paper. I was robbed of the more formal 
letter in the house of M. Petrovitch, before starting." 

Nicholas frowned. 

" Petrovitch again ! Another of the few men whom 
I know to be my real friends." He fidgeted impa- 
tiently. 

" Well, what did the Mikado say ? " 

I had intended to soften the reply of the Japanese 
Emperor, but now, being irritated, I gave it bluntly: 

" His majesty professed to disbelieve in your power 

to control your people. He declared that he could 

1411 



The International Spy 



not treat a letter from you seriously unless you were 
able to send it openly, without your messengers being 
robbed or murdered on the way across your own 
dominions." 

The young Emperor flushed darkly. 

" Insolent barbarian ! " he cried hotly. " The next 
letter I send him shall be delivered by the commander 
of my army on the soil of Japan." 

I was secretly pleased by this flash of spirit, which 
raised my respect for the Kussian monarch. 

A recollection seemed to strike him. 

" I hear that you were blown up in attempting to 
bring some coal into Port Arthur," he said in a more 
friendly tone. " I thank you. Monsieur V ^." 

I bowed low. 

" Some of my admirals seem to have been caught 
napping," Nicholas 11. added. " I have here a very 
serious report about Admiral Stark at Vladi- 
vostok." 

" You surprise me, sire," I observed incautiously. 
"Out in Manchuria I heard the Admiral praised 
on all hands for his carefulness and good con- 
duct." 

" Carefulness I It is possible to be too careful," 

the Czar complained. " Admiral Stark is too much 

afraid of responsibility. We have information that 

the English are taking all kinds of contraband into 

the Japanese ports, and he does nothing to stop them, 

142 



The Adviser qf Nicholas II 



for fear of committiiig some breach of international 
law." 

I began to see what was coming. The Emperor, 
who seemed anxious to justify himself, proceeded : 

" The rights of neutrals have never been regarded 
by the British navy, when they were at war. How- 
ever, I have not been satisfied with taking the opinion 
of our own jurists. I have here an opinion from Pro- 
fessor Heldenberg of Berlin, who of course represents 
a neutral Power, and he says distinctly that we are 
entitled to declare anything we please contraband, and 
to seize English ships — ^I mean, ships of neutrals — 
anywhere, even in the English Channel itself, and 
sink them if it is inconvenient to bring them into a 
Russian port." 

The insidious character of this advice was so glar- 
ing that I wondered how the unfortunate young mon- 
arch could be deceived by it. 

But I saw that comment would be useless just then. 
I must seek some other means of opening his eyes to 
the pitfalls which were being prepared for him. 

I came from the Palace with a heavy heart The 
next day, Petersburg was startled by the publication 
of a ukase recalling Vice-Admiral Stark and Rear- 
Admiral Molas^ his second in command^ from the 
Pacific. 

Immediately on hearing this news I sent a tele- 
gram in cipher to Lord Bedale. For obvious reasons 

143 



The International Spy 

I never take copies of my secret correspondence! but to 
the best of my recollection the wire ran as follows: 

Germanj instigftting Bnsiian Kayy to raid your shipping on 
the pretext of contraband. Object to provoke reprisals leading 
to war. 

As the reader is aware, this warning sncceeded in 
defeating the Kaiser's main design, the British Gov- 
ernment steadily refusing to be provoked. 

Unfortunately this attitude of theirs played into 
German hands in another way, as English shippers 
were practically obliged to refuse goods for the Far 
East, and this important and lucrative trade passed 
to Hamburg, to the serious injury of the British 
ports. 

But before this development had been reached, I 
found myself on the track of a far more deadly and 
dangerous intrigue, one which is destined to live in 
history as the most audacious plot ever devised by one 
great Power against another vrtth which it proposed 
to be on terms of perfect friendship. 



CHAPTER XVI 



L BTBAITOB OORFSSSIOir 




1 HAT) last seen the strange, beanliftil, 
■wicked woman known as the Princess 
Y bending in a passion of hyster- 
ical remorse over the body of the man 
she had driven to death, on the snow- 
clad train outside Mukden. 

I have had Bome experience of women, and espe- 
cially of the class which mixes in the secret politics 

of the European Courts. But Sophia Y was an 

enigma to me. There was nothing about her which 
su^ested the adventuress. And there was much 
which tended to support the story which had won the 
belief of her august mistress — that rfie was an invol- 
untary agent, who had been victimized by an un- 
Bcmpnlous minister of police, by means of a false 
chaige, and who genuinely loathed the tasks she was 
too feeble to refuse. 

I had not been back in Petersburg very long when 
one afternoon the hotel waiter came to tell me that a 
lady desired to see me privately. The lady, he added, 
declined to give her name, but declared that she was 
:well known to me. 

10 ua 



The International Spy 



I had come back to the hotel, I should mention, 
in the character of Mr. Sterling, the self-appointed 
agent of the fraternity of British peace-makers. It 
was necessary for me to have some excuse for residing 
in Petersburg during the war, and under this conven- 
ient shelter I could from time to time prepare more 
effectual disguises. 

I was not altogether surprised when my mysterious 
visitor raised her veil and disclosed the features of 
the Princess herself. 

Buit I was both surprised and shocked by the 
frightened, grief-stricken look on the face of this 
woman whom I had come to dread as my most for- 
midable oponent in the Russian Court. 

" Mr. Sterling 1 — ^Monsieur V ? " she cried in 

an agitated voice that seemed ready to break down 
into a sob. " Can you forgive me for intruding on 
you? I dare not speak to you freely in my own 
house. I am beset by spies." 

" Sit down. Princess,'^ I said soothingly, as I rolled 
forward a comfortable chair. " Of course I am both 
charmed and flattered by your visit, whatever be its 
cause." 

With feminine intuition she marked the reserve 
in my response to her appeal. 

"Ah! You distrust me, and you are quite 

right 1 " she exclaimed, casting herself into the 

chair. 

140 



A Strange Cor^ession 



She fixed her luminous eyes on me in a deep look, 
haK-imploring, haK-reproachful. 

" It is true, then, what they have been telling me ? 
You were the man, dressed as an inspector of the 
Third Section who traveled on the train with me? 
And you saw the death ^' — ^her words were inter- 
rupted by a shudder — " of that unhappy man ? " 

It was not very easy to preserve my composure in 
the face of her emotion. Nevertheless, at the risk of 
appearing callous, I replied : 

"I cannot pretend to understand your question. 
However, even if I did it would make no difference. 

Since you know my name is A. V y you must 

know also that I never allow myself to talk about my 
worf 

The Princess winced under these cold words almost 
as though she had been physically rebuffed. She 
clasped her delicately-gloved hands together, and mur- 
mured as though to herseK : 

" He will not believe in me ! He will not be con- 
vinced ! '' 

I felt myself in a very difficult position. Either 
this woman was thoroughly repentant, and sincerely 
anxious to make some genuine communication to me, 
or else she was an actress whose powers might have 
excited envy in the Bernhardt herself. 

I concluded that I could lose nothing by encour- 
aging her to speak 

1471 



The Intematianal Spy 



" You must pardon me if I seem difitrufltful/* I 
said with a wholly sympathetic expression. " I have 
my principles; and cannot depart from them. But 
I have every wish to convince you of my personal 
friendship." 

She interrupted me with a terrible glance. 

"Personal friendship! Monsieur, do you know 
what I have come here to tell you ? " 

And rising wildly to her feet, she spread out her 
hands in a gesture of utter despair : 

" They have ordered me to take your life 1 '' 

I am not a man who is easily surprised. 

The adventures I have passed through, some of 
them far more extraordinary than anything I have 
recorded in my public revelations, have accustomed 
me to meet almost any situation with diplomatic pres- 
ence of mind. 

But on this occasion I am obliged to admit that I 
was fairly taken aback. 

As the lovely but dangerous woman whom I had 
cause to regard as the most formidable instrument 
in the hands of the conspirators, avowed to my face 
that she had been charged with the mission to assas- 
sinate me, I sprang from my chair and confronted 
her. 

She stood, swaying slightly, as though the intensity 
of her emotion was about to overpower her. 

" Do you mean what you say ? Do you know ^hat 
you have said ? '' I demanded. 

lis 



^^'^''•^'^''^^mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmammt 



A Strange Confession 



The Princjess Y made no answer, but she lifted 

her violet eyes to mine, and I saw the big tears welling 
up and beginning to overflow. 

I was dismayed. My strength of mind seemed to 
desert me. I have looked on without a tear when 
men have fallen dead at my feet, but I have 
never been able to remain calm before a woman in 
tears. 

*^ Madame I Princess !" I was on the point of ad- 
dressing her by a yet more familiar name. ^^ At least, 
sit down and recover yourself." 

Like one dazed, I led her to a chair. Like one 
dazed, she sank into it in obedience to my authorita- 
tive pressure. 

^* Come," I said in a tone which I strove to render 
at once firm and soothing, *^ it is clear that we must 
understand each other. Tou have come here to tell 
me this, I suppose ? " 

" At the risk of my life," she breathed. ^' What 
must you think of me ! " 

I recalled the fate of poor Menken, whom the 
woman before me had led to his doom, though she had 
not struck the blow. 

In spite of myself, a momentary shudder went 
through me. 

The sensitive woman saw or felt it, and shook in 
her turn. 

"Believe me or not, as you will," she ezdaimed 

149 



The International Spy 



desperately. " I swear to you that I have never 
knowingly been guilty of taking life. 

" Never for one moment did I anticipate that that 
poor man would do what he did," the Princess went 
on with passionate earnestness. *^ I tempted him to 
give me the Czar's letter, and I destroyed it — ^I con- 
fess that Are not such things done every day in se- 
cret politics? Have you never intercepted a 
despatch ? " 

It was a suggestive question. I thought of more 
than one incident in my own career which might be 
harshly received by a strict moralist. It is true that 
I have always been engaged on what I believed was 
a lawful task ; but the due execution of that task had 
sometimes involved actions which I should have 
shrunk from in private life. 

*^ I will not excuse myself, Madame," I answered 
slowly. " Neither have I accused you." 

*^ Your tone is an accusation," she returned with a 
touch of bitterness. " Oh, I know well that men are 
ready to pardon many things in one another which 
they will not pardon in us." 

'^ I am sorry if I have wounded you," I said with 
real compunction. " Let us say no more about the 
tragedy that is past Am I right in thinking that 
you have come to me for aid ? " 

" I do not know. I do not know why I am here. 
Perhaps it is because I am mad." 

150 



A Strange Confession 



I gazed at her flushed face and trembling hands, 
unable to resist the feeling of compassion which was 
creeping over me. 

What was I to think ? What was this woman's real 
purpose in coming to me ? 

Had her employers, had the unscrupulous Petro- 
vitch, or the ruthless Minister of Police, indeed 
charged her to remove me from their path ; and had 
her courage broken down under the hideous burden ? 

Or was this merely a ruse to win my confidence ; 
or, perhaps, to frighten me into resigning my task 
and leaving the Russian capital ? 

Did she wish to save my life, or her own ? 

I sat regarding her, bewildered bjr these conjec- 
tures. 

I saw that I must get her to say more. 

" At least you have come to aid me," I protested. 
" You have given me a warning for which I cannot 
be sufficiently grateful." 

" If you believe it is a genuine one," she retorted. 
Already she had divined my difficulties and doubts. 

" I do not doubt that you mean it genuinely," I 
hastened to respond. " There is, of course, the possi- 
bility that you yourself have been deceived." 

"Ah!" 

She looked up at me in what I could not think was 

other than real surprise. 

" You think so ? " she cried eagerly. The next mo- 

151 



The International Spy 



ment her head drooped again. **No, no. I have 
known them too long. They have never trifled with 
me before. Believe me, Monsieur, when they told 
me that you were to be murdered they were not joking 
with me." 

" But they might have meant to use you for the 
purpose of terrifying me." 

She stared at me in unaffected astonishment 

" Terrify — youT* She pronounced the words with 
an emphasis not altogether unflattering. ^^ You are 
better known in Bussia than you imaginei M* 
V J' 

I passed over the remark. 

" Still they must have foreseen the possibility that 
you would shrink from such a task; that your wom- 
anly instincts would prove too much for you* At 
least they have never required such work of you 
before ? " 

Against my will the last words became a question. 
I was anxious to be assured that the hands of the 
Princess were free from the stain of blood. 

" Never 1 They dared not 1 They could not ! " she 
cried indignantly. " You do not know my history. 
Perhaps you do not care to know it ? " 

Whatever I knew or suspected, I could make only 
one answer to such an appeal. Indeed^ I was desir- 
ous to understand the meaning of one word which the 

Princess Y had just used. 

U2 



A Strange Confession 



" Listen," she said, speaking with an energy and 
dignity which I could not but respect, " while I tall 
you what I am. I am a condemned murderess 1 " 

" Impossible ! '* 

" Impossible in any other country, I grant you, but 
very possible in Bussia. You have heard, I suppose, 
everybody has heard, of the deaths of my husband and 
his children. The first two deaths were natural, I 
swear it. I, at all events, had no more to do with 
them than if they had occurred in the planet Saturn. 
Prince Y — ^ — committed suicida And he did so be- 
cause of me ; I do not deny it. But it was not because 
he suspected me of any hand in the deaths of his chil- 
dren. It was because he knew I hated him t 

" The story is almost too terrible to be told. That 
old man had bought me. He bought me from my 
father, who was head over ears in debt, and on the 
brink of ruin. I was sold — ^the only portion of his 
property that remained to be sold. And from the 
first hour of the purchase I hated, oh, how I loathed 
and hated that old man I " 

There was a wild note in her voice that hinted at 
unutterable things. 

" And he," she continued with a shiver, " he loved 
me, loved me with a passion that was like madness. 
He could hardly bear me out of his sight. 

"I killed him, yes, morally, I have no doubt I 
killed him. He lavished everything on me, jewels, 



The International Spy 



>vealtli, all the forms of luxury. He made a will leav- 
ing me the whole of his great fortune. But I could 
not endure him, and that killed him. I think/' she 
hesitated and lowered her voice to a whisper, "I 
think he killed himself to please me." 

Hardened as I am, I felt a thrill of horror. The 
Princess was right; the story was too terrible to be 
told. 

Then the police came on the scene. From the first 
they knew well enough that I was innocent. But 
they were determined to make me guilty. The head 
of the secret service at that time was Baron Kratz. 
He had had his eye on me for some time. The Czar, 
believing in my guilt, had ordered him not to spare 
me, and that fatal order gave him a free hand. 

" How he managed it all, I hardly know. The ser- 
vants were buUied or bribed into giving false evidence 
against me. But one part of their evidence was true 
enough; even I could not deny that I had hated 

Prince T y and that his death came as a welcome 

relief. 

" There was a secret trial, and I was condemned. 
They read out my sentence. And then, when it was 
all over, Kratz came to me, and offered me life and 
liberty in return for my services as an agent of the 
Third Section." 

" And to save your life you consented. Well, I do 
not judge you," I said. 

154 



«• 



A Strange Cm^ession 



The Princess glanced at me with a strange smile. 

" To save my life 1 I see you do not yet know our 
Holy Eussia. Shall I tell you what my sentence 
was ? " 

" Was it not death, then ? '' 

" Yes, death — ^by the.knouti " 

"My God!'' 

I gazed at her stupified. Her whole beauty seemed 
to be f ocussed in one passionate protest. Knouted 
to death! I saw the form before me stripped, and 
lashed to the triangles, while the knotted thong, 
wielded by the hangman's hands, buried itself in the 
soft flesh. 

I no longer disbelieved. I no longer even doubted. 
The very horror of the story had the strength of 
truth. 

For some time neither of us spoke. 

" But now, surely, you have made up your mind 
to break lose from this thraldom ? " I demanded. 
" And, if so, and you will trust me, I wiU undertake 
to save you." 

" You forget, do you not, that you yourself are not 
free ? You surely do not mean that you would laj; 
aside your work for my sake ? " 

It was a question which disconcerted me in more 

ways than one. In a secret service agent, suspicion 

becomes second nature. I caught myself asking 

whether all that had gone before was not merely in- 

155 



The International Spy 



tended to lead up to this one question, and I cursed 
myself for the doubt 

" My duty to my present employer oomes first, of 
course/^ I admitted. "But as soon as I am free 
again ^' 

" If you are stiU alive/' she put in significantly. 

"Ahl You mean? ^' 

" I mean that when they find out that I am not to 
be depended on, they will not have far to look for 
others/' 

" It is strange that tHey should have chosen you in 
the first place/' I said thoughtfully. "Tou said 
they could not ask you." 

" They did not offer me this mission. I volun- 
teered.'* 

" You volunteered ! '' 

She shook herself impatiently. 

" Surely you understand ? I heard them deciding 
on your death. And so I undertook the task/' 

*' Because « '' 

" Because I wished to save you. I had great diffi- 
culty. At first they were inclined to refuse me — ^to 
suspect my motives. I had to convince them that I 
hated you for having outwitted me. And I persuaded 
them that none of their ordinary instruments were 
capable of dealing with you." 

"And you meant to give me this warning all 
along ? '' 

150 



A Strange Confession 



" I meant to save you from them. Do you not see, 
as long as we are together, as long as you are visiting 
me, and I am seen to be following you up, they will 
not interfere. If I manage the affair skilfully it 
may be weeks before they suspect that I am playing 
them false. I shall have my excuse ready. It is no 
disgrace to be foiled by A. V.'' 

Again there was an interval of silence. The Prin- 
cess prepared to go. 

" Stay I " I protested. " I have not thanked you. 
Indeed, I do not seem to have heard aU. You had 
some reason, surely, for wishing to preserve my 
Ufe." 

" And what does my reason matter ? '' 

" It matters very much to me. Perhaps," I gave 
her a searchiog look, " perhaps the Dowager Czaritza 
has enlisted you on our side ? '' 

The beautiful woman rose to her feet, and turned 
her face from me. 

" Think so, if you will. I tell you it does not mat- 
ter." 

" And I teU you it does matter. Princess ! " 

" Don't 1 Don't speak to me, please ! Let me go 
home. I am not well." 

Trembling violently in every Hmb, she was making 
her way toward the door, when it was suddenly flung 
open, apd the voice of the hotel servant an- 
nounced : 

107 



The International Spy 



" M. Petrovitch ! " 

The head of the Manchnrian Syndicate walked in 

with a smile on his face, saw the Princess T 

coming toward him, and stopped short, the smile 
changing to a dark frown. 



158 




'I'hchc-ad ur liic MiiiRliiiniiii SinJicatt uaikcJ i]i, liis smile 
fhangini; lu a Jark Ir.iu ii. — /-.j^f /,-J'. 




CHAPTER KVn 

A SDFEBKATUSAI. INOIDIlITrD 

jjHETIIEE because he saw that I was 
watching him, or becaose he placed his 
own interpretation on the circum- 
stances, the war plotter changed his 
frown into a smile. 
" I am glad to see. Princess," he said to the trem- 
bling woman, " that you have so soon found our good 
friend Ifr. Sterling again." 

The Princess T ■ gave him a glance whicH 

seemed to enjoin silence, bowed with grace, and left 
the room in charge of the servant who had an- 
nounced M. Petrovitch. 

The latter now advanced to greet me with every 
appearance of cordiality. 

The last time I had met this well-dressed, delicate 
scamp, he had drugged and robbed me. Kow I had 
just been told that he was setting ^sassins on my 
tracL 

But it ia my rule always to cultivate friendly in- 
tercourse with my opponents. Few men can talk 
for long without exposing something of their inner 
thoughts. I wanted M. Petrovitch to talk. 



The International Spy 



Therefore I returned his greeting with equal cor- 
diality, and made him sit down in the chair from 
which the Princess T had just risen. 

" You will be surprised to hear, no doubt, Mr. 
Sterling, that I have brought you an invitation from 
the Emperor." 

" From what Emperor ? " was the retort on the tip 
of my tongue. Fortunately I suppressed it; there is 
no accomplishment so fatal to success in life as wit, 
except kindness. 

I simply answered. 

" I am not readily surprised, M. Petrovitch. 
Neither, I imagine, are you." 

The financier smiled. 

*' May I call you M. V ? " he asked. " His 

majesty has told me who you are." 

" Were you surprised by that ? " I returned with 
sarcasm. 

Petrovitch fairly laughed. 

" I hear you have been denouncing me to Nicho- 
las," he said lightly. " Can't I persuade you to let 
our poor little Czar alone. I assure you it is a waste 
of breath on your part, and you will only worry a 
well-meaning young man who has no head for busi- 
ness." 

This was plain speaking. It argued no ordinary 
confidence on the part of the intr^er to speak in 
such a fashion of the Autocrat of All the Eufisiafik 



A Supernatural Incident 



Already the interview was telling me something. 
Petrovitch must have some strong, secret hold on 
Nicholas IL 

I shrugged my shoulders as I answered in my 
friendliest manner, 

" I have no personal feeling against you, my dear 
Petrovitch. But to use drugs — come, you must ad- 
nodt that that was a strong measure I '^ 

" I apologize ! " laughed the Bussian. " All the 
more as I find you were too many for us after alL I 
would give something to know how you managed to 
hide the letter you got through." 

It was my turn to laugh. I had reason to feel satis- 
fied. Weak as the Russian Emperor might be, it was 
evident that he had not betrayed my secret. 

" Well, now," the promoter resumed, " all that be- 
ing over, is there any reason why we should not be 
friends ? Be frank with me. What end have you in 
view that is likely to bring us into collision ? " 

" There is no reason why I should not be frank with 
you," I answered, racking my brain for some story 
which the man before me might be likely to believe, 
" especially as I do not suppose that either of us is 
likely to report this conversation quite faithfully to 
his imperial majesty. I am a Japanese spy." 

Petrovitch gave me a glance in which I thought I 

detected a mingling of incredulity and admiration. 

" Eeally, you are a cool hand, my dear V 1 " 

11 161 



The International Spy 



" Why, is there anything in that to make us ene- 
mies? You are not going to pose as the zealous 
patriot, I hope. I thought we had agreed to be 
frank/^ 

The financier bit his Kp. 

" Well, I do not deny that I am before all things a 
man of business," he returned. " If your friends 
the Japanese can make me any better offer than the 
one I have had from another quarter, I do not say." 

" I will see what I can arrange for you," I an- 
swered, not wholly insincerely. ^' In the meantime, I 
think you said something about an invitation ? " 

" Oh, yes, from Nicholas. He wants to see you. 
He has some scheme or other in which he thinks that 
you and I can work together, and he wants us to be 
friends, accordingly." 

" But we are friends, after to-day, I understand ? " 

" It is as you please, my dear V ^," replied the 

conspirator with a slightly baffled air. " You have 
made a good beginning, apparently, with the Prin- 
cess Y ^." 

I put on the self-satisfied air of the man who is a 
favorite with women. 

" The Princess has been extremely kind," I said. 
*'She has pressed me to visit her frequently. Oh, 
yes, I think I may say we are good friends." 

Petrovitch nodded. I had purposely prepared his 
mind for the story which I anticipated he would hear 

162 



A Supernatural Incident 



from my beautiful protector. Evidently it would be 
necessary for her to tell the Syndicate tbat she was 
feigning affection for me in order to draw me into a 
trap. 

" Then, as my carriage is outside, may I take you 
to the Winter Palace ? " 

" That seems the best plan,^' I acquiesced. " It will 
convince the Czar that we are on good terms." 

We drove off together, sitting side by side like two 
sworn friends. I do not know what thoughts passed 
through his mind ; but I know that all the way I kept 
my right hand on the stock of my revolver, and once, 
when one of the horses stumbled, M. Petrovitch was 
within an instant of death. 

At the Palace he put me down and drove off. I 
was admitted to the Czar's presence without difficulty, 
and found him, as usual, surrounded by piles of state 
papers. 

Nicholas II. looked up at my entrance with evi- 
dent pleasure. 

" Ah, that is right, M. V . I hope that, since 

you have come so promptly in response to the message 
I gave that worthy M. Petrovitch, you and he are now 
good friends." 

I could only bow silently. I was a Japanese, re- 
lated to the sovereign with whom he was at war, and 
I was acting in the service of Great Britain. Petro- 
vitch had just forced on the war which Nicholas had 

163 



The International Spy 



wished to avert, and he was still acting secretly in the 
interests of Germany And the Czar was congratulat- 
ing himself that we were friends. It was useless to 
try to undeceive him. 

" Sit down, if you please, M. V . I have some- 
thing of the greatest importance to tell you. Stay — 
Perhaps you will be good enough to see first that the 
doors are all secured. I dislike interruptions." 

I went to the various entrances of the room, of 
which there were three, and turned the keys in the 
doors. 

" Even M. Petrovitch does not know what I am 
going to tell you," Nicholas said impressively as I 
returned to my seat. 

" Tour majesty does not trust him entirely, then ? " 
I exclaimed, much pleased. 

" You mistake me. I do not distrust M. Petro- 
vitch; but this is a matter of foreign politics, with 
which he is not familiar. He admits frankly that he 
knows nothing about diplomacy." 

I gazed at the benevolent young monarch in con- 
sternation. It was the spy of Wilhelm II., the agent 
of the most active diplomatist in the world, of whom 
he had just sopken ! 

There was no more to be said. 

The Emperor proceeded to put a most unexpected 
question. 

'' Are you a believer in spirits, M. V ? " 

164: 



A Supernatural IndderU 



" I am a Koman Catholic, sire. Whatever my 
Church teaches on this subject, I believe. I am rather 
neglectful of my religious duties, however, and do 
not know its attitude on this subject*' 

" I honor your loyalty to your commxmion, M. 

kV . But as long as you do not know what is the 

attitude of your Church on this subject, you cannot 
feel it wrong to listen to me.'' 

I perceived that if his majesty was no politician, he 
was at least something of a theologian. 

The Czar proceeded : 

" There is in Petersburg one of the most marvelous 
mediums and clairvoyants who has ever lived. He is 
a Erenchman named Auguste. He came here nearly 
a year ago — ^just when the difficulty with Japan was 
beginning, in fact; and he has given me the most 
valuable information about the progress of events. 
Everything he has foretold has come true, so far. He 
warned me from the first that the Japanese would 
force me into war, just as they have done. In short, 
I feel I can rely on him absolutely." 

This was not the first time I had heard of the 
spiritualist who had established such an extraordinary 
hold on the Bussian ruler's mind. The common im- 
pression was that he was a mystic, a sort of Madame 
I&iidener. At the worst he was regarded as a charla- 
tan of the ordinary spirit-rapping type, cultivating 
the occult as a means of making money. 

165 



The International Spy 



But now, as I Kstened to the credulous monarch, it 
suddenly struck me what an invaluable tool such a 
man might prove in the hands of a political faction, 
or even of a foreign Power astute enough to corrupt 
him and inspire the oracles delivered by the spirits. 

I listened anxiously for more. 

The Emperor, evidently pleased with the serious 
expression on my face, went on to enlighten me. 

" Last night M. Auguste was here, in this room, 
and we held a private seance. He succeeded in get- 
ting his favorite spirit to respond." 

" Is it permissible to ask the spirit's name ? " I ven- 
tured respectfully. 

" It is Madame Blavatsky," he answered. " You 
must have heard of her, of course. She was practically 
the founder of rational psychical knowledge, though 
she died a victim to persecution." 

I nodded. I had heard of this celebrated woman, 
who still numbers many followers in different parts 
of the world. 

" Last night, as soon as we found that the spirit of 
Madame Blavatsky was present, I asked Auguste to 
question it about the Baltic fleet. 

" I had been holding a preliminary review of the 

fleet in the morning, as you may have seen from the 

papers. The officers and men seemed thoroughly 

nervous, and very doubtful whether it would ever be 

in a condition to sail. Even the Admiral, Rojest- 

106 



A Supernatural Incident 



vensky, did not seem quite happy, and he found great 
fault with the stores and equipments. 

" I had to authorize a delay of another month, and 
the Marine Department would not promise to have 
the fleet ready even then. 

'^ Naturally, I wished to know what would become 
of the fleet when it did sail. Auguste questioned the 
spirit." 

His majesty broke off to feel in his pocket for a 
small slip of paper. 

" I took down the answer rayself, as the spirit 
rapped it out." And he read aloud: 

Baltic Fleet threatened. Japanese and English plotting to 
destroy it on the way to Port Arthur. 

I Started indignantly. 

" And you believe that, sire ! You believe that the 
British Government, which has been straining every 
nerve to maintain peace, is capable of planning some 
secret outrage against your Navy ? " 

" It does not say the Government," he announced 
with satisfaction. " The spirit only warns me against 
the English. Private Englishmen are capable of any- 
thing. At this very moment, two Englishmen are 
arranging to run a torpedo boat secretly out of the 
Thames, disguised as a yacht, and to bring her to 
Libau for us." 

This piece of information silenced me. It was no 

167 



The. International Spy^ 



doubt possible that there might be Englishmen daring 
enough to assist the Japanese in some secret enter- 
prise against a Russian fleet But I felt I should like 
to have some better authority for the fact than the 
word of Madame Blavatsky^s spirit. 

'^ The warning is a very vague one, sire," I hinted. 

" True. But I hope to receive a more definite mes- 
sage to-morrow night. I was going to ask you if you 
would have any objection to be present. You might 
then be able to put pressure on the British Govern- 
ment to prevent this crime." 

Needless to say I accepted the imperial invitation 
with eagerness. 

!Aiid I retired to send the following dispatch to 
•Lord Bedale : 



When Baltic Fleet starts prepare for trouble. Hare all ports 
watched. It is believed here that attack on it is preparing in 
England. 



168 




CHAPTER XVin 

THE ICYSTEBT OV A HDHAK 

^nO waa M. Auguete ! 

This was the question that kept my 
mind busy after my singular Inter- 
view with the Russian Emperor. 
In accordance with my rule to 
avoid as much as possible mentioning the names of 
the humbler actors in the international drama, I have 
given the notorious medium a name which conceals 
his true one. 

Ee appeared fo be a foreigner, and the Czar's 
weakness in this direction was too well known for hia 
patronage of the quack to excite much attention; ap- 
parently it had occurred to no one but myself that 
such a man might be capable of meddling in politics. 

In his more public perfonnances, so far as I could 
learn, the revelations of the spirits were confined to 
more harmless topics, such as the nature of the future 
state, or the prospect of an heir being bom to the 
Russian crown. 

In my quest for further light on this remarkable 
personage, my thoughts naturally turned to the Prin- 



The International Spy 



I have not concealed that at our first meeting the 
charming collaborator of M, Petrovitch had made a 
very strong impression on me. Her subsequent con- 
duct had made me set a guard on myself, and the 
memory of the Japanese maiden whose portrait had 
become my cherished " mascot," of course insured that 
my regard for the Princess could never pass the 
bounds of platonic friendship. 

But the strange scene of the day before had moved 
me profoundly. Vanity is not a failing of v^hich I 
am ever likely to be accused by my worst detractor, 
yet it was impossible for me to shut my eyes or ears 
to the confession which had been made with equal 
eloquence by the looks, the blushes and even the words 
of the beautiful Russian. 

Was ever situation more stupid in all the elements 
of tragedy! This unhappy woman, spurred to all 
kinds of desperate deeds by the awful fear of the 
knout, had been overcome by that fatal power which 
has wrecked so many careers. 

In the full tide of success, in the very midst of a 
life and death combat with the man it was her busi- 
ness to outwit and defeat, she had succumbed to love 
for him. 

And now, to render her painful situation tenfold 

more painful, she was holding the dagger at his breast 

as the only means of keeping it out of the clutch of 

some more murderous hand. 

170 



The Mystery of a Woman 



Had I the pen of a romancer I might enlarge on 
this sensational theme. But I am a man of action, 
whose business it is to record facts, not to comment 
on them. 

I sought the mansion on the Nevsky Prospect, and 
asked to see its mistress. 

Evidently the visit was expected. The groom of 
the chambers — if that was his proper description — ^led 
me up-stairs, and into a charming boudoir. 

A fire replenished by logs of sandalwood was burn- 
ing in a malachite stove, and diffusing a dream-like 
fragrance through the chamber. The walls of the 
room were panelled in ivory, and the curtains that 
hung across the window frames were of embroidered 
silk and gold. Each separate chair and toy-like table 
was a work of art — ebony, cinnamon, and other rare 
and curious woods having been employed. 

But the rarest treasure there was the mistress of all 
this luxury. The inmate of the sumptuous prison, 
for such it truly was, lay back on a leopard-skin couch, 
set in the frame of a great silver sea-shell. 

She had dressed for my coming in the quaint but 
gorgeous costume of ancient Russia, the costume worn 
by imperial usage at high State functions like corona- 
tions, weddings and christenings. 

The high coif above her forehead flamed with jew- 
els, and big, sleepy pearls slid and fell over her neck 

and bosom, 

171 



The International Spy 



At my entrance she gave a soft cry, and raised 
herself on one white arm. I stepped forward as 
though I were a courtier saluting a queen, and pressed 
my lips to her extended hand. 

" I expected you, Andreas." 

Only two women in my life have I ever allowed to 
call me by my Christian name. One was the ill- 
starred lady who perished in the Konak in Belgrade. 
The other — ^but of her I may not speak. 

But it was not for me to stand on ceremony with 
the woman who had interposed herself as a shield be- 
tween me and the enemies who sought my death. 

" You knew that I should come to thank you," I 
said. 

" I do not wish for thanks," she answered, with a 
look that was more expressive than words. " I wish 
only that you should regard me as a friend." 

" And in what other light is it possible for me to 
regard you, dear Princess ? " I returned. " Only this 
friendship must not be all on one side. Tou, too, 
must consent to think of me as something more than 
a stranger whose life you have saved." 

^^ Can you doubt that I have done so for a long 
time ? " 

It needed the pressure of the locket against my 
neck to keep me from replying to this tenderly-spoken 
sentiment in a way which might have led to conse- 
quences, for the Russian Empire as well as for the 

172 



Jlie Mystery qf a W'oman 



Princess and myself, very different to those which 
have actually flowed from our conjunction. 

Conquering my impulses as I best could^ I sought 
for a reply which would not wear the appearance of a 
repulse. 

^^ You misunderstand me,^' I said, ^putting on an 
expression of pride, " You little know the character 
of Andreas V if you think he can accept the hu- 
miliating position of the man who is under obligation 
to a woman— an obligation which he has done nothing 
to discharge, Not until I can tell myself that I have 
done something to place me on a higher level in your 
eyes, can my thoughts concerning you be happy ones." 

A shade of disappointment passed over Sophia^s 
face. She made a pettish gesture. 

^^ Does not — ^friendship do away with all sense of 
obligation ? " she complained. 

" Not with me," I answered firmly. " No, Sophia, 
if you reaUy care for me— for my friendship— you 
must let me do what I have sworn to do ever since I 
first saw you and heard some rumors of your tragic 
story." 

" You mean ? " 

'^ You must let me break your odious bondage. I 
can deliver you, if you will only trust me, from the 
power of the Bussian police, or any other power, and 
set you free to live the life of fascination and happi- 
ness which ought to be yours." 

173 



i 



The International Spy 



The Princess seemed plunged in meditation. At 
length she looked up 

" You would undertake a hopeless task, my dear 
Andreas. Not even you can fathom all the ramifica- 
tions of the intrigues in which I find myself an in- 
dispensable puppet. Those who control my move- 
ments will never let go the strings by which they hold 
me, and least of all, just now." 

I was distressed to see that the Princess was dis- 
posed to evade my appeal for confidence. I answered 
with a slightly wounded air : 

" I may know more than you think, more even than 
you know yourself on certain points. But of course 
you are not willing to confide in me fully " 

'^ There can be no perfect trust without perfect " 
— The Princess, who spoke this sentence in Eussian, 
concluded it with a word which may mean either 
friendship or love according to circumstances. As she 
pronounced it, it seemed like love. 

" There can be no perfect love without perfect 
trust," I responded quickly, striving to assume the 
manner of an exacting lover. 

And then, a happy thought striking me, I added in 
an aggrieved voice, 

" Do you think it is nothing to me that you should 
be associated with other men in the most secret enter- 
prises, holding private conferences with them, receiv- 
ing them in your house, perhaps visiting them in 

174 



The Mystery qf a Woman 



theirs ; that you should appear to be on intimate terms 
with the Grand Duke Staniolanus, with M. Petro- 
vitch, with a man like this M. Auguste '' 

At the sound of this last name, to which I had art- 
fully led up, Sophia sprang into a sitting posture and 
gave me a look of anger and fear. 

" Who told you anything about M. Auguste ? " she 
demanded in hoarse tones. " What has he to do with 
me?" 

" Nay, it is not you who ought to ask me that," I 
returned. " You may be a believer in his conjuring 
tricks, for aught I know. He may be more to you 
than a comrade, or even a prophet — ^more to you 
than I." 

" Who told you that he was my comrade, as you 
call it ? " the Princess insisted, refusing to be diverted 
from her point. 

" No one," I said quite truthfully. " I should be 
glad to know that he was only that. But it is natural 
for me to feel some jealousy of all your friends." 

The Princess appeared relieved by this admission. 
But this relief confirmed all my suspicions. I now 
felt certain that the medium was an important 
figure in the plot which I was trying to defeat. I 
saw, moreover, that however genuine my beautiful 
friend might be in her love for me and her desire to 
save my life, she had no intention of betraying the 
secrets of her fellow conspirators. 

176 



The International Spy 



Her character presented an enigma almost impossi- 
ble to solve. Perhaps it is not the part of a wise man 
ever to try to understand a woman. Her motives 
must always be mysterious, even to herseH. It is 
sufficient if one can learn to forecast her actions, and 
even that is seldom possible. 

" Then you refuse my help ? " I asked reproach- 
fuUy. 

" You cannot help me/' was the answer. " At least, 
that is, unless you possess some power I have no idea 
of at present" 

It was an ingenious turning of the tables. Instead 
of my questioning the Princess, she was questioning 
me, in effect. 

I made what was perhaps a rash admission. 

" I am not wholly powerless, at all events. There 
are few sovereigns in Europe whom I have not obliged 
at some time or other. Even the German Emperor, 
though I have more than once crossed his path in 
public matters, is my personal friend. In spite of his 
occasional political errors, he is a stainless gentleman 
in private life, and I am sure he would hear with 
horror of your position and the means by which you 
had been forced into it" 

Sophia looked at me with an expression of innocent 
bewilderment which I could scarcely believe to be real. 

" The German Emperor I But what has he to do 

with me ? '' 

17« 



The Mystery qf a Woman 



^^He is said to have some influence Tvith the 
Ozar/' I said drily. 

M^ companion bit her lip. 

" Oh, the Ozar ! " Her tone was scathing in its 
mixture of pity and indifference, " Every one has 
some influence with the Ozar. Eut is there any one 
with whom Nicholas has influence ? '^ 

It was the severest thing I had ever heard said of 
the man whom an ironical fate has made master of the 
Old World. 

Suddenly the manner of the Princess underwent a 
sudden change. 

She rose to her feet and gave me a penetrating 
glance, a glance which revealed for the first time 
something of that commanding personality which had 
made this slight, exquisite creature for years one of 
the most able and successful of secret negotiators, and 
a person to be reckoned with by every foreign minis- 
ter. 

"Tou do not trust me, Andreas V . It is 

natural. You do not love me. It is possible that it 
is my fault. But I have sworn to save your life, and 
I will do it in your own despite. In order that I 
may succeed, I will forget that I am a woman, and 
I will forget that you regard me as a criminal. Oome 
here ! I will show you into my oratory, into which 
not even my confidential maid is ever allowed to pene- 
trate. Perhaps what you will see there may convince 
12 177 



The International Spy 



you that I am neither a traitor nor a Delilah." 

With the proud step of an empress, she led the way 
into the adjoining room, which was a bedroom sump- 
tuously enriched with everything that could allure 
the senses. The very curtains of the bed seemed to 
breathe out languorous odors, the walls were hung 
with ravishing groups of figures that might have come 
from a Pompeiian temple, the dressing-table was rich 
with gold and gems. 

Without pausing for an instant the mistress of the 
chamber walked straight across it to a narrow door 
let into the farther wall, and secured by a tiny lock 
like that of a safe. 

Drawing a small key from her bosom, the Princess 
inserted it in the lock, leaving me to follow in a state 
of the most intense expectation. 

The apartment in which I found myself was a 
narrow, white-washed cell like a prison, lit only by 
the flames of two tall wax candles which stood on a 
table, or rather an altar, at the far end. 

Besides the altar, the sole object in the room was 
a wooden step in front of it. Over the altar, in ac- 
cordance with the rule of the Greek Church, there 
hung a sacred picture. And below, between the two 
candlesticks, there rested two objects, the sight of 
which fairly took away my breath. 

One was a photograph frame containing a portrait 

of myself — ^how obtained I shall never know. The 

178 



The Mystery qf a Woman 



portrait was framed with immortelles, the emblems of 
death, and the artist had given my face the ghastly 
pallor and rigidity of the face of a corpse. 

The other object on the altar was a small whip 
of knotted leather thongs. 

Without uttering a word, without even turning her 

head to see if I had followed, the Princess Y 

knelt down on the step, stripped her shoulders with 
a singular determined gesture, and then, taking the 
knout in one hand, began to scourge the bare flesh. 



179 




CHAPTER XIX 

THE BFIEIT OV iimiifuy. blatatSST 

3 T the hour appointed by the Czar I pre- 
sented myself at the Winter Palace to 
BBsist at the Bpiritualist ezperimenta 
of M. Anguste. 

I shall not attempt te describe the 
impression left by the weird scene in the Princess 

T 's oratory. 

To those who do not know the Slav temperament, 
with Its strange mixture of sensuality and devotion, 
of barbarous cruelty and over-civilized cunning, sel- 
dom far removed from the brink of insanity, the in- 
cident I have recorded will appear incredible. I have 
narrated it, simply because I have undertaken te nar- 
rate everything bearing on the business in which I 
was engaged. I am well aware that truth is stranger 
than fiction, and I should have little difficulty, if I 
were so disposed, in framing a stery, full of plausible, 
commonplace incidente, which no one could doubt or 
dispute. 

I have preferred to take a bolder course, knowing 
that although I may be discredited for a time, yet 



«• 



The Spirit qf Madame Blavatsky 

when historians in the future come to sift the secret 
records of the age, I shall be amply vindicated. 

I shall only add that I did not linger a moment 
after the unhappy woman had begun her penance, if 
Buch it was, but withdrew from her presence and 
from the house without speaking a word. 

The feelings with which I anticipated my encoun- 
ter with the medium were very different. Whatever 
might be my doubts with regard to the unfortunate 
Sophia — and I honestly began to think that the sui- 
cide of Menken had affected her brain — ^I had no 
doubt whatever that M. Auguste was a thoroughly un- 
scrupulous man. 

The imperial servant to whom I was handed over 
at the entrance to the Czar^s private apartments con- 
ducted me to what I imagine to have been the boudoir 
of the Czaritza, or at all events the family sitting 
room. 

It was comfortably but plainly furnished in the 
English style, and was just such a room as one might 
find in the house of a London citizen, or a small coun- 
try squire. I noticed that the wall-paper was faded, 
and the hearth-rug really worn out. 

The Emperor of All the Russias was not alone. 
Seated beside him in front of the English grate was 
the beautiful young Empress, in whose society he 
finds a refuge from his greedy courtiers and often un- 
scrupulous ministers, and who, I may add, has skil- 

181 



The International Spy 



fully and successfully kept out of any entanglement 
in politics. 

Rising at my entrance, Nicholas H. advanced and 
shook me by the hand. 

" In this room," he told me, " there are no em- 
perors and no empresses, only Mr. and Mrs. Nicho- 
las." 

He presented me to the Ozaritza, who received me 
in the same style of simple friendliness, and then, 
pointing to a money-box which formed a conspicuous 
object on the mantel-shelf, he added: 

" For every time the word * majesty ' is used 
in this room there is a fine of one ruble, which 
goes to our sick and wounded. So be careful, 

M. V — :' 

In spite of this warning I did not fail to make a 
good many contributions to the money-box in the 
course of the evening. In my intercourse \\dth roy- 
alty I model myself on the British Premier Beacons- 
field, and I regard my rubles as well spent. 

.We all three spoke in English till the arrival of M. 
Auguste, who knew only French and a few words 
of Russian. I remarked afterward that the spirit of 
Madame Blavatsky, a Russian by birth, who had 
spent half her life in England, appeared to have lost 
the use of both languages in the other world, and 
commimicated with us exclusively in French. 

The appearance of M. Auguste did not help to over- 

182 



i 



The Spirit qf Madame Blavatsky 

come my prejudice against him. He had too evi- 
dently made up for the part of the mystic. 

The hair of M. Auguste was black and long, his 
eyes rolled much in their sockets, and his costume 
was a compromise between the frock coat and the cas- 
sock. 

But it was above all his manner that impressed 
me disagreeably. He affected to be continually fall- 
ing into fits of abstraction, as if his commimings 
with the spirits were diverting his attention from the 
affairs of earth. Even on his entrance he went 
through the forms of greeting his host and hostess as 
though scarcely conscious of their presence. I caught 
a sly look turned on myself, however, and when I 
was presented to him as " Mr. Sterling " his reception 
of the name made me think that he had expected 
something else. 

The Czar having explained that I was a friend 
interested in spiritualism, in whose presence he 
wished to hear again from Madame Blavatsky, M. 
lAuguste rolled his eyes formidably, and agreed to 
summon the departed theosophist 

A small round table was cleared of the Czaritza's 
work-basket — she had been knitting a soldier's com- 
forter — and we took our seats around it. The elec- 
tric light was switched off, so that we were in per- 
fect darkness, except for the red glow of the coal fire. 

A quarter of an hour or so passed in a solemn 

183 



The International Spy 



silence, Tbroken only by occasional whispers from 
" Mr. Nicholas " or the medium. 

^^ It is a long time answering," the Czar whispered 
at last 

" I fear there is a hostile influence," M. Auguste 
responded in the jargon of his craft. 

Hardly had the words left his lips when a perfect 
shower of raps seemed to descend on all parts of the 
table at once. 

Let me say here, once for all, that I am not pre- 
pared to offer any explanation of what happened on 
this occasion. I have read of some of the devices by 
which such illusions are produced, and I have no 
doubt a practised conjurer could have very easily 
fathomed the secrets of M. Auguste. But I had not 
come there with any intention of detecting or expos- 
ing him. 

The medium pretended to address the author of the 
raps. 

" If there is any hostile influence which prevents 
your communicating with us, rap twice." 

Two tremendous raps nearly drowned the last 
word. The spirit seemed to be quick-tempered. 

" If it is a woman, rap once " 

'No response. This was decidedly clever. 

" If it is myself, rap." 

This time, instead of silence, there was a faint 

scratching under the surface of the table. 

1841 



mm 



The Spirit qf Madame Blavatsky 

" The negative sign," M. Auguste explained 
blandly, for our benefit 

Then, addressing himself once more to the invisible 
member of the party, he inquired : 

" If it is Mr. Nicholas, rap." 

Silence. 

" You must excuse me," the medium said, turning 
his face in my direction. " If it is Mr. Sterling ^" 

A shower of raps. I really thought the table 
would have given way. 

This was discouraging. The Ozar came io my 
rescue, however. 

" I particularly wish Mr. Sterling to be present," 
he observed with a touch of displeasure— whether in- 
tended for M. Auguste or the spiritual visitant I 
could not tell. 

The hierophant no doubt saw that he must submit 
His retreat was executed with great skill. 

" If the obstacle is one that can be removed, rap 
once." 

A rap. 

" Can you spell it for us ? " 

In the rather cumbrous alphabet in use among the 
shades, the visitor spelled out in French : 

'' Son nom/^ 

"Is there something you object to about his 

name ? " 

A rap. 

188 



The International Spy 



" Is it an assumed name ? " 

A very loud rap. Decidedly the spirit was indig- 
nant. 

" Can you tell us his real name ? His initials will 
do?" 

" A. V." spelled the unseen visitor. 

" Is that right ? " M. Auguste inquired with well- 
assumed curiosity. 

" It is marvelous ! " ejaculated the Emperor. 
" You will understand, of course, Auguste, that this 
must be kept a secret among ourselves." 

" Ask if it is Madame Blavatsky," said the Czar. 

We learned that the apostle of theosophy was in- 
deed present 

" Would you like to hear from any other spirits ? " 
M. Auguste asked the company. 

" I should be glad of a word with Bismarck," I 
suggested. 

In five minutes the Iron Chancellor announced 
himself. His rap was sharp, quick and decided, quite 
a characteristic rap. 

" Ask if he approves of the present policy of the 
German Emperor ? " 

A hearty rap. Evidently the spirit had greatly 
changed its views in the other world. 

" Ask if he remembers telling me, the last time I 
saw him, that Russia was smothering Germany in 
bed?" 



The Spirit of Madame Blavatsky 

" Do you refuse to answer that question ? " M. 
Auguste put in adroitly. 

An expressive rap. 

" Will you answer any other questions from this 
gentleman ? " 

Then the spirit of Bismarck spoke out. It de- 
nounced me as a worker of evil, a source of strife, 
and particularly as one who was acting injuriously 
to the Russian Empire. I confess M. Auguste scored. 

" In his lifetime he would have said all that, if he 
had thought I was working in the interest of Russia 
and against Germany," I remarked in my own de- 
fence. 

The spirit of the Iron Chancellor was dismissed, 
and that of Madame Blavatsky recalled. 

It was evident that the Czar placed particular con- 
fidence in his late subject. Indeed, if the issues at 
stake had been less serious, I think I should have 
made an attempt to shake the Emperor's blind faith 
in the performances of M. Auguste. 

But my sole object was to read, if I could, the se- 
cret plans and intentions of a very different imperial 
character, whose agent I believed the spirit to be. 

M. Auguste, I quickly discovered, was distracted 
between fear of offending Nicholas by too much re- 
serve, and dread of enabling me to see his game. In 
the end the Czar's persistence triumphed, and we ob- 
tained something like a revelation. 

187 



i 



rt* 



The International Spy 



" Tell us what you can see, that it concerns the Em- 
peror to know," M. Auguste had adjured his familiar. 

" I see " — ^the reply was rapped out with irritat- 
ing slowness — ^I quite longed for a slate — " an Eng- 
lish dockyard. The workmen are secretly at work by 
night, with muffled hammers. They are building a 
torpedo boat. It is to the order of the Japanese Gov- 
ernment. The English police have received secret in- 
structions from the Minister of the Interior not to 
interfere." 

" Minister of the Interior " was a blunder. With 
my knowledge of English politics I am able to say that 
the correct title of this personage should be " Secre- 
tary of State for the Domestic Department" But few 
foreigners except myself have been able to master the 
intricacies of the British Constitution. 

"For what is this torpedo boat designed?" M. 
'Auguste inquired. 

" It is for service against the Baltic Fleet. The 
Russian sailors are the bravest in the world, but 
they are too honest to be a match for the heathen 
Japanese," the spirit pursued, with some incon- 
sistency. 

I could not help reflecting that Madame Blavatsky 
in her lifetime had professed the Buddhist faith, 
which is that of the majority in Japan. 

" Do you see anything else ? " 

" I see other dockyards where the same work is 

188 



T%e Spirit qf Madame Blavatshy 

being carried on. A whole fleet of warships is being 
prepared by the perfidious British for use against the 
fleet of Russia." 

" Ask her to cast her eye over the German dock- 
yards," I put in. 

" Spirits have no sex," M. Auguste corrected se- 
verely. " I will ask it." 

A succession of raps conveyed the information that 
Germany was preserving a perfectly correct course, as 
usual. Her sole departure from the attitude of strict 
neutrality was to permit certain pilots, familiar with 
the North Sea navigation, to o£fer their services to the 
Russian fleet. 

" Glance into the future," said the Czar. " Tell us 
what you see about to happen." 

" I see the Baltic Fleet setting out The Admiral 
has issued the strictest orders to neutral shipping to 
retire to their harbors and leave the sea clear for the 
warships of Russia. He has threatened to sink 
any neutral ship that comes within range of his 
guns. 

^' As long as he is in the Baltic these orders are 
obeyed. The German, Swedish and Danish flags are 
lowered at his approach, as is right. 

"Now he passes out into the North Sea. The 
haughty and hostile English defy his commands. 
Their merchant ships go forth as usuaL Presuming 
on their knowledge of international law^ they annoy; 

189 



The International Spy 



and vex the Eus8ian warships by sailing past them. 
The blood of the brave Russian officers begins to boil. 
Ask me no more." 

M. Auguste, prompted by the deeply interested 
Czar, did ask more. 

" I see," the obedient seeress resumed, " torpedo 
boats secretly creeping out from the British ports. 
They do not openly fly the Japanese flag, but lurk 
among the English ships, with the connivance of the 
treacherous islanders. 

" The Baltic Fleet approaches. The torpedo boats, 
skidking behind the shelter of their friends, steal 
closer to the Russian ships. Then the brave Russian 
Admiral remembers his promise. Just in time to save 
his fleet from destruction, he signals to the British to 
retire. 

" They obstinately refuse. The Russian fleet opens 
fire. 

^^ I can see no more." 

The spirit of the seeress, it will be observed, broke 
off its revelations at the most interesting point, with 
the skill of a practised writer of serials. 

But the Czar, fairly carried away by excitement, 
insisted on knowing more. 

" Ask the spirit if there will be any foreign com- 
plications," he said. 

I had already remarked that our invisible compan- 
ion showed a good deal of deference to the wishes of 

190 



\ 



The Spirit qf Madame Blavatsky 

!N'icholas 11.^ perhaps in his character of Head of the 
Orthodox Church. 

After a little hesitation it rapped out: 

" The English are angry, but they are restrained by 
the fear of Germany. The German Michael casts his 
shield in front of Russia, and the islanders are cowed. 
I cannot see aU that follows. But in the end I see that 
the Yellow Peril is averted by the joint action of Rus- 
sia and Germany. 

This answer confirmed to the fuU my suspicions 
regarding the source of M. Auguste^s inspiration. I 
believed firmly that there was a spirit present, but 
it was not the spirit of the deceased theosophist, rather 
of a monarch who is very much alive. 

The medium now professed to feel exhausted, and 
Madame Blavatsky was permitted to retire. 

I rose to accompany M. Auguste as soon as he made 
a move to retire. 

" If you will let me drive you as far as my hotel," 
I said to him, " I think I can show you something 
which will repay you for coming with me." 

The wizard looked me in the face for the first time, 
as he said deliberately : 

" I shall be very pleased to come." 



101 



CHAPTEE XX 

THB DSTIL'S AUOTIOB 

I SAID aa little as possible during the 
drive homeward. 

My companion was equally silent. 
No doubt he, like myself, was brac- 
ing himelf up for a duel of wita. 
Afi soon as we were safe in my private room at the 
hotel, with a bottle of vodka and a box of cigars in 
front of us, I opened the discussion with my habitual 




*' I need not tell you, SL Auguste, that I have not 
invited you here to discuss questions of psychology, 
r am a politician, and it matters nothing to me 
whether I am dealing with a ghost or a man, provided 
I can make myself understood." 

M. Auguste bowed. 

" For instance, it is quite clear that the interesting 
revelations we have had to-night would not have been 
made without your good wiU It is to be presumed, 
therefore, that if I can convince you that it is better 
to turn the Emperor's mind in another direction, you 
will refuse to make yourself the medium of further 
communioaticoiB of that precise character." 



The DeviPs Atcction 



M. AuguBte gave me an intelligent glance. 

" I am as you have just said, a medium/^ he re- 
plied with significant emphasis. "As such, I need 
not tell you, I have no personal interest in the com- 
munications which are inade through me.'' 

I nodded, and took out my pocket-book, from which 
I extracted a hundred ruble-note (about $75). 

" I promised to show you something interesting," 
I remarked, as I laid it on the table. 

M. Auguste turned his head, and his lip curled 
slightly. 

" I am afraid my sight is not very good,'' he said 
negligently. " Is not that object rather small ? " 

" It is merely a specimen," I responded, counting 
out nine others, and laying them beside the first. 

" Ah, now I fancy I can see what you are show- 
ing me," he admitted. 

*^ There is a history attached to these notes," I ex- 
plained. ^^ They represent the amount of a bet which 
I have just won." 

" Eeally I That is most interesting." 

^^ I now have another bet of similar nature pend- 
ing, which I hop^ also to be able to win." 

" I am tempted to wish you success," put in the 
medium encouragingly. 

" The chances of success are so great that if you 

were a betting man I should be inclined to ask you 

to make a joint affair of it," I said. ^ 

13 193 



The International Spy 



" My dear M. V , I am not a bigot. I have no 

objection to a wager provided the stakes are made 
worth my while." 

" I think they should be. Well, I will tell you 
plainly, I stand to win this amount if the Baltic 
Fleet does not sail for another month.'* 

M. Auguste smiled pleasantly. 

"I congratulate you," he said. "From what 
I have heard the repairs wiU take at least that 
time." 

" But that is not all. This bet of mine is continu- 
ous. I win a similar stake for every month which 
passes without the fleet having left harbor." 

M. Auguste gazed at me steadily before speaking. 

" If your bet were renewable weekly instead of 
monthly, you might become quite a rich man." 

I saw that I was dealing with a cormorant. I made 
a hasty mental calculation. Half of one thousand 
rubles was about $375 a week, and the information 
I had led me to believe that Port Arthur was capable 
of holding out for another six months at least. To 
delay the sailing of the Baltic Fleet till then would 
cost roughly $10,000 — say 15,000 rubles. 

I decided that neither England nor Japan would 
grudge the price. 

"I think your suggestion is a good one," I an- 
swered M. Auguste. " In that case, should you be 
willing to share the bet ? " 

194 



The DeviVs Auction 



" I should be willing to undertake it entirely," was 
the response. 

The scoundrel wanted $20,000 ! 

Had I been dealing with an honest man I should 
have let him have the money. But he had raised his 
terms so artfully that I felt sure that if I yielded this 
he would at once make some fresh demand. 

I therefore shook my head, and began picking up 
the notes on the table. 

" That would not suit me at all," I said decidedly. 
" I do not wish to be left out altogether." 

M. Auguste watched me with growing uneasiness 
as I restored the notes one by one to my pocket- 
book. 

" Look here ! " he said abruptly, as the last note 
disappeared. " Tell me plainly what you expect me 
to do." 

" I expect you to have a communication from your 
friend Madame Blavatsky, or any other spirit you 
may prefer — ^Peter the Great would be most ef- 
fective, I should think — every time the Baltic Fleet 
is ready to start, warning " Mr. Nicholas " not to let 
it sail." 

M. Auguste appeared to turn this proposal over in 
his mind. 

" And is that all ? " he asked. 

" I shall expect you to keep perfect secrecy about 
the arrangement. I have a friend at Potsdam, and I 

195 



The International Spy 



shall be pretty sure to hear if you try to give me 
away." 

" Potsdam ! " M. Auguste seemed genuinely sur- 
prised, and even disconcerted. 

'^ Do you mean to say that you didn't know you 
were carrying out the instructions of Wilhelm 11. ? '*' 
I demanded, scarcely less surprised. 

It was difficult to believe that the vexation showed 
by the medium was feigned. 

" Of course I I see it now I " burst from him. " I 
wondered what she meant by all that stuff about Ger- 
many. And I — a Frenchman I '^ 

It is extraordinary what imexpected scruples wiU 
display themselves in the most unprincipled knaves. 
Low as they may descend, there seems always to be 
some one point on which they are as sensitive as a 
Bayard. 

M. Auguste, of all men in the world, was a French 
patriot 1 It turned out that he was a fanatical Na- 
tionalist and Anti-Semite. He had howled in anti.- 
Dreyf usite mobs, and flung stones at the windows of 
Masonic temples in Paris. 

I was delighted with this discovery, which gave me 
a stronger hold on him than any bribe could. 

But I had noted the feminine pronoun in his ex- 
clamation recorded above. I did not think it re- 
ferred to the revealing spirit. 

" Tou have been deceived by the woman who has 

196 



The DeviVs Auction 



given you your instructions/' I remarked to him, 
when his excitement had subsided a little. " I fancy 
I can guess her name/' 

" Yes. It is the Princess T y^ he confessed. 

Bewildering personality! Again, as I heard her 
name connected with an intrigue of the basest kind, a 
criminal conspiracy to influence the ruler of Eussia by 
feigned revelations from the spirits of the dead, I re- 
called the sight I had last had of her, kneeling in her 
oratory, scourging herself before— my portrait 1 

There was no longer any fear that M. Auguste 
would prove obdurate on the question of terms. He 
pocketed his first five hundred rubles, and departed, 
vowing that the Baltic fleet should never get farther 
than Libau, if it was in the power of spirits to pre- 
vent it 

Desirous to relieve Lord Bedale's mind as far as 
possible I despatched the following wire to him the 
next morning: 

■ 

Sailing of Baltic Fleet postponed indefinitely. No danger 
for the present. Watch Germany. 

I sent a fuller account of the situation to a son of 
Mr. Katahashi, who was in England, nominally at- 
tached to the staff of the Imperial Bank, but really on 
business of a confidential character which it would be 
indiscreet on my part to indicate. 

I may say that I particularly cautioned the young 

197 



The International Spy 



Japanese to avoid any action calculated to give the 
least color to the German legends about warships be- 
ing secretly manufactured in British yards to the 
order of the Mikado's Gt)vemment. 

Every reader who has followed the course of the 
war with any attention will recollect the history of 
the fleet thus detained by my contrivance. 

Week after week, and month after month, the Bal- 
tic Fleet was declared to be on the point of departure. 
Time after time the Czar went on board to review it 
in person, and speak words of encouragement to the 
officers and crew. And every time, after everything 
had been pronounced ready, some mysterious obstacle 
arose at the last moment to detain the fleet in Russian 
waters. 

Journalists, naval experts, politicians and other ill- 
informed persons invented or repeated all sorts of 
explanations to account for the series of delays. 

Only in the very innermost circles of the Eussian 
Court it was whispered that the guardian spirit of the 
great Peter, the founder of Russia's naval power, had 
repeatedly come to warn his descendant of disasters 
in store for the fleet, should it be permitted to sail. 

M. Auguste was earning his reward. 



199 




CHAPTER XXI 

UT irniTBRAIi 

She extreme privacy with which I had 
managed my negotiation with M. Au- 
fruste completely haffled the plottere 
who were relying on the voyage of the 
lialtic Fleet to fumiBh a casus belli 
between EuBsia and Great Britain. 

They realized, of course, that some powerful hand 
was interfering with their designs, and they were suffi- 
ciently intelligent to guess that that hand must be 

But they were far from suspecting the method of 
my operations. They firmly believed that M. Auguste 
was still carrying out their inatructionB, and sowing 
distrust of England in the mind of IRicholas II. In- 
deed, on one occasion he informed me that the Prin- 
cess T had sent for him and ordered him not to 

frighten the Czar to such an extent as to make him 
afraid to let the fleet proceed to sea. 

Unable to detect and countermine me, it was natu- 
ral that they should become impatient for my removal. 

Accordingly, I was not surprised to receive an 



The International Spy 



urgent message from Sophia, late one evening, re- 
questing me to come to her without delay. 

By this time our friendship, if such it could be 
called, had become so intimate that I visited her 
nearly every day on one pretext or another. 

Her greeting, as soon as I had obeyed the summons, 
showed me that a fresh development had taken place 
in the situation. 

" Andreas, the hour has come 1 '' 

"The hour?'' 

"For your removal Petrovitch has been here. 
He suspects something. He has rebuked me severely 
for the delay." 

" Did you tell him I was not an easy man to kill ? " 

" I told him anything and everything. He would 
not listen. He says they have lost confidence in me. 
He was brutal. He said " 

"WeU, what did he* say?" 

" He said — " she spoke slowly and shamefacedly — 
" that he perceived it took a man to kill a man." 

I smiled grimly. 

" History tells us differently. But what then ? " 

" To-morrow I shall no longer be able to answer for 
your life," 

" You think some one else will be appointed to dis- 
pose of me ? " 

" I am sure that some one else has been appointed 

already. Most likely it is Petrovitch himself." 
.200 



My Ftmeral 



" Well, I shall look out for him." I did not think 
it necessary to tell Sophia that I had been expecting 
something of this kind, and had made certain prepa- 
rations. 

" It will be useless, Andreas. You do not know 
the man with whom you have to deal." 

" The ignorance may be mutual," I observed drily. 

The Princess became violently agitated. 

" You must let me save you," she exclaimed clasp- 
ing her hands. 

" In what way ? " 

" You must let me kill you liere, to-night. 

" Don't you understand ? " she pursued breath- 
lessly. " It is absolutely necessary for your safety, 
perhaps for the safety of both of us, that they should 
think I have carried out my instructions. You must 
appear to die. Then they will no longer concern them- 
selves about you, and you will be able to assume some 
other personality without being suspected." 

The scheme appealed to me strongly, all the more 
that it seemed as though it could be made to fit in very 
well with my own plans. 

"You are a clever woman, Sophia," I said cau- 
tiously. "How do you purpose to carry out your 
scheme? They will want to see my corpse, I sup- 
pose." 

She drew out the little key I have already described. 

" dome this way." 

201 



The International Spy 



I followed her through the bedroom as before to 
the door of the locked oratory. 

She opened the door and admitted me. 

By the light of the wax candles I saw what was 
surely one of the strangest sights ever presented to 
mortal eyes. 

It was myself, lying in state ! 

On a high bier draped in white and black cloth, I 
lay, or, rather, my counterpart presentment in wax 
lay, wrapped and shrouded like a dead body, a branch 
of palm in the closed hands, and a small Russian coin 
resting on the lips, in accordance with a quaint cus- 
tom which formerly prevailed in many lands. 

In spite of my habitual self-command I was unable 
to repress a cold shiver at this truly appalling spec- 
tacle. 

" Tour stage management is perfect," I observed 
after a pause. " But will they be satisfied with a 
look only ? " 

" I do not think so. It will be necessary for you 
to put on the appearance of death for a short time, 
till I have satisfied them. Afterward I can conceal 
you in here, while this — " she pointed to the ghastly 
figure — " is buried under your name." 

" Let us get back to the other room, before we talk 
about it," I urged. " This is not altogether a pleas- 
ant sight." 

As we passed out of the oratory I stealthily took 

202 



My Funeral 



note of the fastening of the door. The lock was on 
the outside only; in other words, if I permitted my- 
self to be immured in the cell-like chamber, I should 
be a prisoner at the mercy of my charming friend. 

" And now, by what means do you purpose that I 
shall assume the appearance of death ? " I inquired as 
soon as we had returned to the boudoir. 

The Princess opened a small cabinet, and produced 
a tiny stoppered bottle. 

"By swallowing this medicine," she answered. "I 
have had it specially prepared from a recipe given me 
ten years ago at a time when I thought of resorting to 
the same contrivance to escape from my taskmaster." 

I took the bottle in my hand, and examined it care- 
fully. It bore no label, and the contents appeared 
perfectly colorless. 

" In five minutes after you have swallowed the con- 
tents of the bottle," Sophia explained, " you will be- 
gin to turn cold, at first in the feet and hands. As 
the cold mounts to the brain you will gradually lose 
consciousness, and become rigid. Tou will look as 
pale as if you were actually dead, and your heart will 
cease to beat." 

" And how long will this stupor last ? " 

" About twenty-four hours, more or less, according 
to your constitution." 

I looked carefully and steadily into her eyes. She 
flushed and trembled violently, but did not quaiL 

203 



The International Spy 



" What does it taste like ? '^ I asked. 

'' It is a Uttle bitter/' 

" I will take it in water, then/' 

" Tou can take it in wine, if you like. I have some 
here.'' 

She moved to a small cupboard in the walL 

" I shall tell them that I gave it to you in wine, in 
any case,'' she added. 

" I prefer water, thank you. May I feteh some 
from the next room ? " 

" I will feteh it," she said hastily, going to the bed- 
room. 

On an ebony stand beside me there was a large 
china bowl containing a flowering plant in its pot. 
In a second I had removed the stopper, emptied the 
bottle into the space between the flower-pot and the 
outer bowl, and put the stopper back again. 

" Tell me," I said to the Princess as she hurried 
back with a carafe and tumbler, " have you thought 
how I am to get away from this house without excitr 
ing attention ? " 

" It will be easy for me to procure you a dozen dis- 
guises. I am always going to masked baUs. But 
are you in such a hurry to leave me ? " 

" I shall find the air of your oratory rather con- 
fined, I am afraid." 

She hung her head in evident chagrin. 

" But where will you go ? " she demanded. 

204 



My Funeral 



" Oh, that is all arranged, I have taken a small 
house and furnished it, in another name/^ 

" Where ? " she asked breathlessly. 

"Perhaps I had better not tell you till this ex- 
citement is over. I must not burden you with too 
many of my secrets.'^ 

Sophia^s eyes filled with tears. 

" You distrust me still 1 '^ she cried. " But, after 
all, what does it matter ? I have only to ask Petro- 
vitch.^^ 

" That will be quite unnecessary as well as useless. 
I pledge myself to tell you before I leave this place, 
and I have not favored M. Petrovitch with my new 
address." 

She smiled scornfully. 

" And do you believe that you have succeeded in 
taking a house in Petersburg without his knowledge ? 
You do not know him, I tell you again. He has had 
you watched every hour of the day while you have 
been here." 

" Please credit me with a little resource, as well as 

your friend," I answered with some slight irritation. 

" I have no doubt the spies of M. Petrovitch have 

watched me pretty closely, but they have not been able 

to watch every person who has come in and out of the 

hotel. Two of my most capable assistants have been 

in Petersburg for the last month — since the day you 

hinted that my life was not quite safe, in fact'' 

aoo 



The International Spy 



The woman before me looked completely over- 
whelmed. 

*' One of them/' I proceeded with cutting severity, 
" has taken the house I speak of. The other is watch- 
ing over my personal safety at this moment.'^ 

The Princess fairly gave way. Sinking on the 
couch behind her, she exclaimed in a faint voice : 

" Tou are a demon, not a man ! " 

It was the finest compliment she could have paid 
me. 

" And now," I said carelessly, " to carry out your 
admirable little idea." 

The imhappy woman put up her hands, and turned 
away her head in sheer terror. 

I splashed some water into the tumbler, and then 
trickled in a small quantity afterward, to imitate the 
sound of adding the poison. This done I respectfully 
handed the bottle to my companion. 

" To our next meeting ! " I called out lightly, as I 
lifted the tumbler to my lips and drained it. 

It was the Princess who swooned. 

Although I had not foreseen this weakness on her 
part I took advantage of it to draw the tiny key of 
the oratory from her bosom, and hide it in my mouth. 

I then touched the bell twice, the signal for the 
Princess's maid to appear. 

" Fauchette," I said, when she entered — for this 

was the assistant I had alluded to as watching over 

206 



My Funeral 



my personal safety — " Madame has just given me the 
contents of that stoppered bottle. Do you know any- 
thing about them ? ^' 

Fauchette had made good use of her time since ob- 
taiaing her situation. These things are so easily 
managed that I am almost ashamed to explain that a 
bribe to the former maid had brought about a con- 
venient illness, and the recommendation of Fauchette 
as a temporary substitute. 

" Yes, Monsieur," she said quietly. " I filled the 
bottle with water this afternoon, in case of accident. 
I have preserved the previous contents, in case you 
should care to have them analyzed." 

" You have done well, very well, my girl." 

Fauchette blushed with pleasure. I do not often 
say so much to my staff. 

Madame does not know that I had just emptied the 
bottle into that china bowl," I added carelessly. 

" It is useless to try to serve Monsieur ; he does 
everything himself," murmured the poor girl, morti- 
fied. 

" Nonsense, Fauchette, I have just praised you. It 
is always possible that I may overlook something." 

Fauchette shook her head with an incredulous air. 

I have found it good policy to maintain this charac- 
ter for infallibility with my staff. It is true, per- 
haps, that I do not very often blunder. 

" And now," I went on, " it is time for th^ poison 

207 



i 



riM*l 



The International Spy 



to take effect I As soon as I am dead, you will awake 
Madame/' 

I lay doWn on another couch, and composed myself 
in a rigid attitude with my eyes closed I did not be- 
lieve, of course, that it would be possible to deceive a 
close observer, but I trusted to the wild emotions of 
the Princess to blind her to any signs of life. 

I heard Fauchette dart on her mistress with a well- 
acted scream, and sprinkle her face and neck with 
cold water. 

Sophia seemed to revive quickly. 

*' Andreas 1 '' I heard her gasp. *^ Where ? What 
has become of him ? '' 

'^ M. Sterling has also fainted," the maid replied 
with assumed innocence. 

"Hal^^ 

It was more like a shriek than a sob. I heard a 
hasty rustling of skirts, and then Sophia seemed to 
be kneeling beside me, and feeling for the beat of my 
heart. 

^^ Qoy Fauchette ! Send Gregory instantly to M. 
Petrovitch to inform him that M. Sterling has been 
taken ill in my house, and that I fear he is dead." 

The Princess began loosening my necktie. 

Had Fauchette been present I should have been 
able to point to this as a proof that I was not incapa- 
ble of an occasional oversight. 

As a matter of fact, I had not anticipated this very 

208 



( I 



I 



My Funeral 



natural action on Sophia's part. Yet it should have 
been evident that, were it only to keep up appear- 
ances before any one who might come to view my 
supposed corpse, she would be bound to free my neck. 

And I was wearing the locket which contained the 
portrait of my promised bride ! 

I lay, really rigid with apprehension, while So- 
phia's caressing fingers tenderly removed the necktie, 
and began unfastening my collar and shirt. 

Suddenly I heard an ejaculation — at first striking 
the note of surprise and curiosity merely, but deep- 
ening to fear. 

In a moment the locket was lifted from my chest, 
and forced open with a metallic click. 

"Ah!— Ahl" 

She let the open locket drop from her fingers on 
my bare throat. 

Instantly it was clutched up again. I coTild pic- 
ture the frenzied gaze of jealousy and hate in those 
burning eyes of deepest violet; I could actually feel 
the passionate breathing from between the clenched 
teeth of whitest ivory. 

" Miserable child I '' she hissed, the hand that held 
the locket trembling so that I could feel it against my 
neck. " So you have robbed me of him ! '' 

She paused, and then added, forcing out each word 
with a passion of distilled hate 

"But you shall never have him I He shall be 
mine ! Mine ! MinC; in the grave I '^ 

14 200 



OHAPTEE XXII 



A PSBTLOUS UOUEITT 




I LAY with every nerve strained to it3 
utmost tension, listening for the least 
moTement on the part of the mad- 
dened woman which might indicate 
that she was about to stab me then 
and there. 

In the silence that followed, if she did not hear 
the beating of my beart it was only because her own 
stormy emotions had rendered her deaf and blind 
to everything elBe. 

For a time her rapid breathing continued to wann 
my uncovered neck. Then she snapped-to the locket 
and let it fall, and rose from my side to pace the floor 
of the room with swift, irregular steps. 

Fauchette, who must have been anxious to kaow 
how I was faring, now came back without waiting to 
be summoned. 

"Well!" the Princess demanded, halting in her 
promenade. 

" Gregory has gone for If. Petrovitch, Madame. 
Is there anything I can do t " 



A PerUotis Moment 



" I have tried every restorative/^ came the answer. 
" See if you can detect any signs of life/' 

The last command seemed to come as an after- 
thought. No doubt, Sophia wished to test her work 
before Petrovitch arrived. 

I was encouraged to think that she had no immedi- 
ate intention of killing me; and as the maid bent 
over me I contrived to give her hand a reassuring 
squeeze. 

^^ He is quite dead, Madame,'' the girl said, turn- 
ing away. " Would you like to have the body car- 
ried into another room ? " 

" No. Wait till M. Petrovitch comes," her mis- 
tress replied. " Tou can go." 

As my assistant withdrew I again became on the 
alert for any dangerous move on the part of the Prin- 
cess. 

It was not long before I was conscious that the 
room had grown darker. 

I gathered that Sophia had switched off some of 
the lights in order to make it more difficult for Pet- 
rovitch to detect her fraud, and again I took courage. 

Some muttered words helped me to understand the 
plan of the desperate woman. 

"I will give him one chance. He shall choose. 
Men do not die for love in these days." 

There was little doubt that she intended to lock 
me up in her oratory and hold me a prisoner till 

211 



The International Spy 



I consented to Bacrifice my faith to her Japanese 
rival. 

Satisfied that there was little risk of any immediate 
violence, I waited calmly for the arrival of Sophia's 
colleague, or master. 

The head of the Manchurian Syndicate lost no time 
on the way. Very soon I heard the door open and 
the familiar voice, with its slightly affected accent, 
saying, 

" Permit me to offer you the expression of my sin- 
cere regrets, dear Princess I— And my sincere con- 
gratulations,'' he added in a more business-like tone, 
as the door closed again. 

A sigh was the only audible response. 

" It has cost you something, I can see,'' the man's 
voice resumed soothingly. " That fact gives you a 
still stronger claim on our gratitude. I confess I be- 
gan to fear seriously that you were deceiving us, and 
that would have been very dangerous." 

Another obscure sound, between a sigh and a sob, 
from the woman. 

" Now we can proceed with light hearts. Within 
three months from now Bussia and Great Britain 
will be at war. I do not mind answering for it. 
There was only one man in Europe who could have 
prevented it, and he lies there ! " 

" You would have it so ! I still say it would have 
been enough to imprison him somewhere." 

212 



lift 



A Perilous Moment 



" Tou talk foolishly, believe me, Princess. A man 
like that is not to be imprisoned. There is no jailer 
in the world who would venture to undertake to keep 
the famous A. V. under lock and key." 

" I would have undertaken it," came the answer. 
" I would have locked him in my oratory, the key of 
which never leaves my bosom." 

" Nevertheless if it was important to that man to 
steal it from you, it would not remain in your bosom 
very long." 

A startled cry interrupted the speaker, and told 
me that Sophia had made the fatal discovery of the 
loss of her key. 

I held my breath in the most dreadful suspense. 
Everything now depended on this woman. If she 
allowed the least hint, I knew that Petrovitch would 
never leave the room without at least an attempt to 
change my supposed trance into death. 

Fortunately the Princess was equal to the emer- 
gency. I heard her give a slight laugh. 

" I am punished for my assurance," she confessed. 
" I am not quite hardened, as you know; and when 

I realized that M. V was actuaUy dead, I was 

obliged to pray for hinu I have left the key in the 
door." 

" Go and fetch it, then." 

The tone in which these words were spoken was 
harsh. I heard Sophia going out of the room, and in 

213 



The International Spy 



I 



an instant, with a single bound, as it seemed, the man 
was leaning over me, feeling my pulse, listening for 
my heart, and testing whether I breathed. 

" If I had brought so much as a knife with me, I 
would have made sure," I heard him mutter to him- 
self. 

Fortunately Sophia's absence did not last ten sec- 
onds. She must have snatched up the first key that 
came to hand, that of a jewel-box most likely, and 
hurried back with it. 

Petrovitch seemed to turn away from me with re- 
luctance. 

" You doubt me, it appears," came in angry tones 
from the Princess. 

"I doubt everybody,'^ was the cool rejoinder. 
'* You were in love with this fellow." 

" You think so ? Then look at this." 

I felt the locket being picked up, and heard the 
click of the tiny spring. 

A coarse laugh burst from the financier. 

" So that is it ! Woman's jealousy is safer than her 
sworn word, after all. Now I believe he is dead." 

The Princess made no reply. 

Presently the man spoke again. 

" This must be kept a secret among ourselves, you 
understand. The truth is, I have exceeded my in- 
structions a little. A certain personage only author- 
ized detention. It appears he is like you in having a 



214 



A Perilous Moment 



certain tenderness for this fellow — ^why, I can't think. 
At any rate his manner was rather alarming when 
we hinted that a coflSn made the safest straight- 
jacket." 

It was impossible for me to doubt that it was the 
Kaiser whom this villain had insulted by offering to 
have me assassinated. I thanked Wilhelm 11. silently 
for his chivalrous behavior. M. Petrovitch could have 
known little of the proud HohenzoUem whom he 
tempted. 

At the same time, it was a source of serious con- 
cern for me to know that, just as I had learned that 
my real opponent was my friend the Kaiser, so he in 
turn had acquired the knowledge that he had me 
against him. 

It had become a struggle, no longer in the dark, 
between the most resourceful of Continental sover- 
eigns and myself, and that being so, I realized that I 
could not afford to rest long on my oars. 

From the deep breathing of the Princess, I sur- 
mised that she was choking down the rage she must 
have felt at the other's cynical depravity. For 
Sophia, though capable of committing a murder out 
of jealousy perhaps, was yet incapable of killing for 
reward. 

" Well," I heard Petrovitch say in the tone of one 
who is taking his leave, " I must send some one 'round 
to remove our friend." 

215 



The International Spy 



" Do not trouble, if you please. I will see to the 
funeral," came in icy tones from the Princess. 

'^What, still sentimental I Be careful, my good 

Sophia T y you will lose your value to us if you 

give way to such weaknesses." 

I heard his steps move across the carpeted floor, 
and then with startling suddenness, the words came 
out: 

^^ Curse me if I can believe he is dead I " 

My blood ran cold. But it turned out to be only a 
passing exclamation. At the end of what seemed to 
me minutes — ^they can only have been seconds — ^the 
footsteps moved on, and the door opened and closed. 

" Thank God I " burst from Sophia. 

Her next words were plainly an apostrophe to my- 
self. 

" So you did not trust me after all ! " 

I was within an ace of opening my eyes on the 
supposition that she had found me out, when I was 
reassured by her adding, this time to herself, 

" He must have done it when I fainted ! " 

I saw that she was referring to my theft of the key. 

There was a soft rustle of silk on the floor, and I 
felt her hands searching in my pockets for the stolen 
key. 

" Fool I To think that I could outwit him I " she 
murmured to herself at last. 

She had taken some time to learn the lesson, how- 

(Bver. 

B16 




CHAPTER XXm 

A BBSUEBBOTION AHB A GHOST, 

HT was soon evident that the FrinceBa 

T had taken her new maid into 

her confidence to a certain extent. 

She must have rung for Fanchette 
without my hearing anything, for 
presently the door opened again, and I heard my 
assistant's voice. 

As the result of a hurried consultation between 
the two women, in which Fauchette played to perfec- 
tion the part of a devoted maid who is only desirous 
to anticipate the wishes of her mistresa, it was de- 
cided to wheel the sofa on which I lay into the ora- 
tory, and to bring the wax dummy into the Princess's 
bedroom, to lie in state till the next day. 

The arrangement did not take long to carry out. 
Partly from what I was able to overhear, and partly 
from the report afterward famished to me by Fau- 
chette, I am able to relate succinctly what took place. 
To begin with, I was left in the oratory, while the 
counterfeit corpse was duly arranged in the adjoining 
room. 

tan 



The International Spy 



Unable to lock me in the smaller apartment, Sophia 
declared her intention of locking both the outer doors 
of the bedroom, one of which gave on a corridor, while 
the other, as the reader is aware, opened into the 
boudoir where the previous scene had taken place. 

The Princess retained one of these keys herself, 
entrusting the other to the maid, of course with the 
strictest injunctions as to its use. 

To keep up appearances before the household, the 
Princess arranged to pass the next few nights in an- 
other room on the same floor, which usually served 
as a guest chamber. 

It was explained to the servants that the death 
which had occurred had upset the nerves of their 
mistress, and rendered her own suite of rooms dis- 
tasteful to her for the present. 

Fauchette, who thus became my jailer, brought me 
a supply of cold food and wine during the night. I 
had part of this provision under the altar of the ora- 
tory, to serve me during the following day. 

My cataleptic condition was supposed to endure 
for nearly twenty-four hours. The enforced seclusion 
was intensely irritating to a man of my temperament; 
but I could not evade it without revealing to Sophia 
that I had heard her confession, and thereby inflicting 
a deadly wound on a woman who loved me. 

Meanwhile the arrangements for my funeral had 
been pressed on. 

218 



A Resurrection and a Ghost 



Already a telegram had appeared in the London 
papers announcing the sudden and unexpected death 
from heart-failure of the well-known English philan- 
thropist, Mr. Melchisedek Sterling. One or two of the 
journals commented on the fact of Mr. Sterling's 
death having taken place while he was on a mission 
of peace to the Russian capital, and expressed a hope 
that his death would have a chastening effect on the 
War Party in Petersburg. 

My friend, the editor of the Peace Review, very 
generously sent a wreath, which arrived too late for 
the funeral but was laid on my grave. 

Unfortunately these newspaper announcements 
were taken seriously by my exalted employers, as well 
as by the enemies whom I wished to deceive, but this 
could not be helped. 

By noon the undertaker's men had arrived with my 
coffin. The Princess played upon their ignorance of 
English customs and burial rites to pretend that 
the work of coffining must be done by women's 
hands. In this way she and Fauchette were able 
to enclose the dummy in its wooden shell, leav- 
ing to the men only the task of screwing down 
the lid. 

The burial took place in the English cemetery. I 
am glad to say that the Princess contrived to avoid 
the mockery of a religious service by alleging that 
Mr. Sterling had belonged to a peculiar sect — ^the 

219 



The International Spy 



Quakers, I fancy — ^which holds such ceremonies to b© 
worldly and unnecessary. 

I may add that I have since visited my grave, which 
is still to be seen in a comer of the cemetery. It is 
marked by a stone slab with an inscription in English. 

In the afternoon the faithful Fauchette persuaded 
her mistress to go out for a drive, to soothe her over- 
strained nerves. 

Before quitting the house, the Princess came in to 
take a last look at me. 

She lingered minute after minute, as though with 
some premonition that our next meeting would be 
under widely different cicumstances. 

To herself, I heard her whisper, sighing softly: 

" Andreas ! O Andreas ! If I could sleep, or thou 
couldst never wake ! " 

She crept away, and the better to secure me locked 
both the bedroom doors herself, and carried off the 
keys. 

On her return, two hours later, Sophia, with a look 
that told the watchful Fauchette of her uneasiness, 
hurried straight upstairs, toward the door of the little 
oratory. 

She found it locked from the outside, with the key 
in the door. 

It had cost me something to break my pledge to the 
Princess T that I would give her my new ad- 
dress before leaving her. 

220 



A Besurrectwn and a Ghost 



But her imf ortunate discovery of the portrait I 
wore around my neck and her plainly-declared inten- 
tion to hold me a prisoner till she could shake my 
fidelity, had rendered it necessary for me to meet 
treachery with treachery. 

The secret service, it must always be borne in mind, 
has its own code of honor, differing on many points 
from that obtaining in other careers, but perhaps 
stricter on the whole. 

For instance, I can lay my hand on my heart and 
declare that I have never done either of two things 
which are done every day by men holding high offices 
and high places in the world^s esteem. I have never 
taken a secret commission. And I have never taken 
advantage of my political information to gamble in 
stocks. 

The manner of my escape was simplicity itself. 

My assistant had not come to live with the Princess 
without making some preparations for the part she 
was to play, and these included the bringing with her 
of a bunch of skeleton keys, fully equal to the work of 
opening any ordinary lock. 

As soon as her mistress was safely out of the way, 
!Fauchette came to receive my instructions. 

I told her that I did not intend to wait for my 
jailer's return. We discussed the best way for me to 
slip out, without obstruction from the servants, and I 
decided to take advantage of the superstition of the 

221 



The International Spy 



Russian illiterate class, by enacting the part of my 
own ghost 

The report that I had been buried without any 
funeral service had already reached the household, 
and had prepared them for any supernatural manifes- 
tation. 

Fauchette first brought me a little powdered chalk, 
with which I smeared my face. I then put on a long 
flowing cloak and a sombrero hat, part of the ward- 
robe accumulated by the Princess in the course of her 
gaieties. 

I slipped a damp sponge into my pocket and di- 
rected the girl to lead the way. 

She went down-stairs a few yards in front of 
me, turned into the servants' part of the house and 
threw open the back door, which led out into a 
courtyard giving on a street used only by trades- 
men's carts. At this hour of the day it was 
deserted. 

I followed cautiously in Fauchette's wake, and got 
as far as the back door without meeting any interrup- 
tion. 

But at that point, the porter, who must have been 
roused by an unfamiliar step — ^though I understand 
he swore afterward that the passage of the ghost had 
been absolutely noiseless — came out and stood in the 
doorway. 

Without hesitating for an instant I assumed an 

222 



A Resurrection and a Ghost 



erect posture and advanced swiftly toward him with 
my whitened face well displayed. 

The fellow gave vent to a half -articulate call which 
died down in his throaty and bolted back into his room 
uttering yell after yell. 

Fifteen seconds later I was out in the street, spong- 
ing the chalk from my face. 

And five minutes after that I was comfortably 
seated in a hired droshky, on my way to a certain little 
house in the seafaring quarter of the city, which pos- 
sessed, among other advantages, that of commanding 
an exceedingly fine view of the Admiralty Pier. 



223 



CHAPTER XXIV" 



A. SECBET EXECUTIOH 




I NOW come to a part of my ctirouiole 
which I plainly foresee must expose 
me to grave criticism. 

To that criticism it is no part 

of my purpose to attempt any reply. 

In the long run, I have found, men's minds are not 

much affected by argument and advocacy. I'acts tell 

their own story, and men's judgments are usually the 

result of their personal prejudices. 

!For that reason I shall confine myself to relating 
facts. I have already told the story of my murder — 
for such it was in the intent — ^by Petrovitch. I shall 
now tell the story of the justice meted out by me on 
the assassim 

As soon as I was safely lodged in my house on the 
Alexander Quay, I despatched my assistant, a clever 
young Prenchman named Breuil, with a message to 
the promoter of the Manchurian Syndicate — the real 
moving spirit of that War clique in which even the 
bellicose grand dukes had only secondary parte. 

The wording of the message had been carefully cal- 
culated to arouse curiosity, but not apprehension. 
m 



A Secret Execution 



'^ The agent of a foreign Power/^ Breuil was in- 
structed to say to this seK-styled patriot, *^ with very 
large funds at his disposal, desires to see you in strict 
secrecy/' 

The bait took. Petrovitch, naturally coricluding 
that he was to be offered a heavy bribe for some act 
of treachery to Russia, greedily accepted the invita- 
tion. 

The infatuated man did not take even the ordinary 
precaution of asking for guarantees. He consented 
to accompany Breuil at once, merely asking how far 
he had to go. This recklessness was the result of his 
supposed triumphant crime. Believing that I was 
safely interred in the English cemetery, he thought 
there was no one left for him to fear. 

On the way he did his best to extract some informa- 
tion out of my assistant. But Breuil returned tfie 
same answer to all his questions and hints: 

"I am under orders not to converse with you, 
monsieur." 

The doomed man was in good spirits as the droshky 
put him down at the door of my house. 

" Decidedly an out-of-the-way retreat I '' he com- 
mented gaily. ^^ I should hardly be able to find my 
way here again without your assistance I " 

The silent Breuil merely bowed, as he proceeded to 
open the street door with a latch key. 

Perhaps Petrovitch had been a little more nervous 

15 225 



The International Spy 



than he allowed to appear. When he noticed that his 
escort simply closed the door on the latch, without 
locking or bolting it further, he said in a tone of 
relief: 

" You are n,ot much afraid of being visited by the 
police, I see." 

Breuil, as silent as ever, led the way into a back 
parlor, overlooking the Neva, where I was waiting to 
receive my visitor. 

The room was plainly furnished as a study, and I 
had placed myself in an arm-chair facing the window, 
so that my back was turned to the door as Petro- 
vitch entered. 

I pretended to be writing furiously, as a pretext 
for not turning my head till the visitor had seated 
himself. 

Breuil said quietly, '^ M. Petrovitch is here," and 
went out of the room. 

As the door closed I tossed away my pen and turned 
around, facing my assassin. 

" I am pleased to see you, M. Petrovitch. " 

^^ Monsieur V 1" 

I thought he would have lost his senses. His whole 
countenance changed. He clung to his chair, and 
his eyes were fixed on me with an expression of 
panic. 

So complete was his collapse that he did not attempt 
to speak or excuse himself. I saw that he was hardly 
in a condition to listen to anything I had to say. 

220 



A Secret Execution 



"I fear you are unwell, M. Petrovitch. 'Allow 
me to offer you a little brandy." 

The wretched man watched me with bewildered 
looks, as I took a bottle and glasses from a cupboard 
and helped first him and then myself. 

" It is quite wholesome, I assure you." 

As I said the words I raised my own glass to my 
lips and sipped. 

A choking cry escaped from the author of the war. 
He seized the glass I had set before him and fever- 
ishly drained it 

I saw that he was burning to know by what means 
I had escaped the fate prepared for me. But I had 
no object in gratifying his curiosity, and mere boast- 
ing is not a weakness of mine. 

Steadfastly preserving the tone of a business inter- 
view between men who understand each other, I went 
on to say : 

" I am here, as you know, in the joint interests of 
England and Japan." 

My murderer nodded faintly. I could see him 
making a tremendous effort to control his nerves, 
and enter into conversation with me on my own 
terms. 

" I think I should be glad of a little more brandy. 
Thank you I — I am not at all myself." 

I shook my head compassionately. 

" You should be careful to avoid too much excite- 

227 



The International Spy 



ment," I said. " Any sudden shock is bad for a man. 
with your nerves/^ 

The promoter gasped. The situation was clearly 
beyond him. 

" You," I went on in my most matter-of-fact tone, 
" on the contrary, are acting on behalf of Germany.^' 

" Who says so 1 " He was beginning to speak 
fiercely ; but his eye met mine, and the words died on 
his lips. 

"We will say I dreamed it, if you like," I re- 
sponded drily. "I have very remarkable dreams 
sometimes, and learn a great deal from them. 

" To confine ourselves to business. I have caused 
the sailing of this Baltic Fleet to be put off, be- 



cause " 



" You — ^have caused it 1 '^ 

The interruption burst from him in spite of him- 
self. 

I affected to shrug my shoulders with a certain an- 
noyance. 

" Your opinion of my powers does not seem to be 
a very high one, unfortunately," I remarked with 
irony. " It would be better if you accepted me as a 
serious antagonist, believe me." 

Petrovitch lowered his eyes in confusion, as he 
muttered, 

" I apologize. Monsieur V . I have blundered, 

iR8 1 now perceive.'* 



A Secret Execution 



" Let us resume. I was about to say that I had pre- 
vented the sailing of this fleet, because I feared that 
its voyage might be marked by some incident likely 
to bring Great Britain and Russia into collision." 

The financier raised his head and watched me 
keenly. 

" You, yourself, M. Petrovitch, have been active, 
I believe, in preparing the mind of the Czar and the 
Russian public for something of the sort. Doubtless 
you have not done so without very good grounds.'^ 

" My information leads me to think that a flotilla 
of torpedo boats is being kept ready in the English 
ports for a night attack on our fleet during its prog- 
ress through the North Sea." 

I smiled disdainfully. 

" That is a false report. I have asked you to call 
here in the hope that I might find you ready to assist 
me in discrediting it" 

The Russian continued to watch me out of his nar- 
row eyes. 

" And, also," I added, " to assist me in preventing 
any attempt to give color to it." 

" I am not sure that I understand you, Monsieur 
V ." 

" That is quite possible. I will speak more plainly. 
There are some prophets who take a little trouble to 
make their prophesies come true. I wish to know 
whether you and your friends have determined that 

829 



The International Spy 



this particular prophesy shall come true — ^perhaps to 
fulfill it yourselves ? " 

Petrovitch frowned and compressed his lips. 

" So that is why you got me here ? " 

" I wished to see/' I said blandly, " if it was possi- 
ble for me to oflFer you terms which might induce you 
to alter your views altogether — ^in short, to stop the 
war." 

The financier looked thimderstruck. 

*' Monsieur V , you don't know what you ask ! 

But you — ^would a million rubles tempt you to come 
over, to be neutral, even ? " 

" I am a member, by adoption, of the imperial 
family of Japan," I replied laconically. 

Petrovitch was past surprise. If I had informed 
him that I was the Mikado in disguise, I think he 
would have taken it as a matter of course. 

" This war is worth ten millions to me," he con- 
fessed hoarsely. 

I shook my head with resignation. 

" The price is too high. We must be enemies, not 
friends, I perceive." 

The author of the war, who had regained his self- 
possession, did not blanch at these words. 

" I regret it," he said with a courteous inclination. 

" Tou have reason to." 

He gave me a questioning glance. 

" Up to the present I have been on the defensive," 

230 



A Secret Execution 



I explained. " I dislike violent measures. But from 
this moment I shall hold myself at liberty to use 
them." 

" I am afraid I have gone rather too far/' the pro- 
moter hesitated. 

" You have drugged me. You have robbed me. 
You have murdered me." 

"You are alive, however," he ventured to retort 
with an impudent smile. 

" Unfortunately," I went on sternly, " in murder- 
ing me you exceeded your instructions." 

" How " 

" I dreamed that I heard you tell your accomplice 
so," I put in, without giving him a chance to speak. 

He ceased to meet my gaze. 

" You are therefore not even a political criminal. 
You are a common felon. As such I warn you that 
I shall execute you without notice, and without re- 
prieve." 

The Russian scowled fiercely. 

" We will see about that," he blustered. ^' I have 
a loaded revolver in my pocket" 

I waved my hand scornfully. 

" Undeceive yourself, George Petrovitch. I am 

not proposing a duel. I cannot be expected to fight 

with a condemned murderer. I sentence you to death 

— and may the Lord have mercy on your soul." 

" By what right ? " he demanded furiously. 

«3l 



^1 



The. International Spy 



" I am accredited by the Emperor of Japan to tho 
Emperor of Bussia. This house is Japanese soil. 
FareweU I '' 

Petrovitch rose from his chair^ wavering between 
indignation and alarm. 

" I shall defend myself I '^ he exclaimed, edging 
slowly toward the door. 

" You will do better to confess yourself. Is there 
no prayer that you wish to say ? '^ 

The Russian smiled incredulously. 

" You seem very confident,^' he sneered. 

I saw that it was useless to try to rouse him to a 
sense of his peril. I pointed to the door, and pressed 
a knob on the wall. 

The murderer made two steps from me, laid his 
fingers on the door-handle — ^and dropped dead in- 
stantly. 



CHAPTER XXT 



L OHAITGE OF IDBIUCTT 




I NOW approach the crucial portion of 
my narrative. 

The incidents already dealt with, 
though not without a certain interest, 
perhaps, for those who value exact 
information ahout political events, are comparatively 
unimportant, and have been given here chiefly in 
order to inspire confidence in what follows. 

At all eventBj their truth is not likely to be dis- 
puted, and I have not thought it necessary, therefore, 
to insist on every corroborative detail. 

But I am now about to enter on what must be con- 
sidered debatable ground. 

'I had taken the little house on the Alexander Quay, 
aa the reader will have guessed, as a post of observa- 
tion from which to watch the proceedings of the Rus- 
sian Ministry of Marine, more particularly with re- 
gard to the fleet tmder the command of Admiral 
Rojestvenaky. 

It is my subsequent observations and discoveries 
which compel me, greatly to my regret, to give a direct 
contradiction to the gallant Admiral's version of what 



The International Spy 



took place in the North Sea on the night of Trafalgar 
Day, 1904. 

It is for that reason that I desire to exercise par- 
ticular care in this part of my statement. 

Such care is the more incumbent on me, inasmuch 
as I was requested by the British Government to fur- 
nish a confidential copy of my evidence in advance, 
for the use of the members of the international court 
which sat in Paris to inquire into this most mysteri- 
ous aflFair. 

The following chapters should be read, therefore, 
as the sworn depositions of a witness, and not as the 
carelessly worded accoimt of a journalist or popular 
historian. 

The electrocution of the murderer, Petrovitch, al- 
ready described, furnished me with a valuable oppor- 
tunity which I was quick to seize. 

I have not extenuated this act, and I will not de- 
fend it I content myself with recording that this 
man had been the principal instrument in promotiiSg 
the Russo-Japanese war, and the principal obstacle 
to peace. In this he was acting as the paid agent of 
a foreign Power, and was therefore guilty of high 
treason to his own country. On these grounds my 
execution of him, although irregular at the time, has 
since been formally ratified by the highest tribunal of 
the Russian Empire, the Imperial Ooimcil of State. 

A justification which I value still more, consists in 

234 



A Change qf Identity 



the fact that the removal of this man proved the turn- 
ing point in the history of the war. 

Within a month of his death I had the satisfac- 
tion to be made the medium of an informal overture 
for peace. The negotiations thus opened have pro- 
ceeded with great secrecy, but before these lines meet 
the public eye, I have every hope that the calamitous 
struggle in Manchuria will have been suspended in- 
definitely. 

To return : 

Owing to the secret life led by the deceased man, 
it was some time before his absence from his usual 
haunts excited remark. 

When it became evident that something must have 
happened to him, people were still slow to suspect that 
he had come to a violent end. Many persons believed 
that he had been ruined by the ill-success of the war, 
and had gone into hiding from his creditors. Others 
supposed that he had been secretly arrested. 

Some of his fellow-plotters in the Russian capital 
imagined that he had fled to Germany to escape the 
penalty of his treason. In Germany, on the other 
hand, I afterward learned, he was supposed to have 
been sent to Siberia by order of the Czar. 

For weeks the " Disappearance of M. Petrovitch " 
was the general topic of discussion in the newspapers 
and in private circles ; but no one came near guessing 
the truth. 

235 



m^^ 



The International Spy 



There was one person who must have divined from 
the first what had happened. But she held her tongue. 

So far as I could gather from the reports which 
continued to reach me from Fauchette, the Princess 

T had sunk into a lethargy after my evasion. 

She seemed to wish only to be left alone to brood, per- 
haps to mourn. 

The only sign she gave was by depositing a wreath 
on the empty grave in the English cemetery, a wreath 
which bore the solitary word, " Remembrance." 

In the meanwhile I had gratifying evidence that 
the loss of the chief conspirator had completely dis- 
organized the schemes of the plotters in the Ministry 
of Marine. 

My first proceeding, after disconnecting the power- 
ful battery which I had installed in my house for the 
purpose of the execution, was to summon my assistant 
Breuil. 

With his aid, the corpse was stripped and sewn 
up in a sheet, together with some heavy weights. In 
the middle of the night it was committed to the waters 
of the Neva, ahnost within sight and sound of the 
fieet 

The papers which we found in his clothes were not 
numerous or important. But there was one which I 
thought worth preserving. 

It was a passport, made out in the name of the de- 
ceased, issued by the Russian Foreign Office, and 

236 



A Change qf Identity 



vised by the German Ambassador. This passport I 
still have in my possession. 

I now disclosed to my assistant a plan which had 
been in my own mind for some time, though, true to 
my principle of never making an unnecessary con- 
fidence, I had not previously mentioned it to him. 

" I have decided," I told him, " to assume the per- 
sonality of Petrovitch." 

Breuil stared at me in consternation. It is only 
fair to say that he had not been with me very 
long. 

I could see that some objection was trembling on 
the tip of his tongue. He had learned, however, that 
I expect my staff not to criticize, but to obey. 

"You may speak," I said indulgently, "if you 
have anything to say." 

" I was about to remark, sir, that you are not in 
the least like Petrovitch." 

" Think again," I said mildly. 

He gave me an intelligent look. 

" You are much about the same height f " he ex- 
claimed. 

" Exactly." 

" But his friends, who see him every day — surely 

they cannot be deceived ? And then his business — ^his 

correspondence — ^but perhaps you are able to feign 

handwriting ? " 

I smiled. The good Breuil had passed from one 

287 



The International Spy 



extreme to the other. Instead of doubting me^ he 
was crediting me too much. 

I proceeded to explain. 

" No, as you very properly suggest, I could not 
hope to deceive Petrovitch's friends, nor can I imitate 
his hand. But remember, that in a few days Petro- 
vitch will have disappeared. What will have become 
of him, do you suppose ? ^' 

Breuil was still puzzled. I had to make my mean- 
ing still plainer. 

^^ He will be in concealment — ^that is to say, in dis- 
guise." 

Breuil threw up his hands in a gesture of admira- 
tion. 

"As the disguised Petrovitch I may manage to 
pass very well, more particularly as I shall be meet- 
ing people who have never seen the real Petro- 
vitch." 

Breuil did not quite understand this last observa- 
tion. 

" I am going," I exclaimed, " on board the Baltic 
Fleet." 

" Sir, you are magnificent ! " 

I frowned down his enthusiasm. Compliments 
are compliments only when they come from those 
who pay us, not from those whom we pay. 

" Go and procure me the uniform of a superin- 
tendent of naval stores. And ascertain for me where 

238 



rt» 



A Change qf Identity 



Captain Vassileffsky usually passes his even- 
ings." 

Captain VassileflFsky was the naval officer who 
had been present on the occasion when I was drugged 
at Petrovitch's table. 



239 



OHAPTEB XXVI 



ffHE clock was atrilting eight 83 I entered 
the restaurant of the Two-Headed 
Eagle, in tlie seaport of Revel on the 
Gulf of Finland, about a week after 
the mysterious disappearance of 
Petroviteh had become the talk of Petersbui^. 

Picking out a table at which an officer in the uni- 
form of a Russian naval captain was already seated, 
I went up to it, and sat down in front of him with 
the formal bow prescribed by etiquette in the circum- 




The ships intended to sail to the relief of Port 
Arthur were lying at this time some at Kevel and 
others at Libau on the Baltic. Prom time to time 
their departure was officiaHy announced for a certain 
date, reviews were held, and one or two preliminary 
trips had been undertaken. 

But each time some unseen obstacle was inter- 
posed, and M. Auguste continued to draw his weekly 
stipend. 

Nevertheless it was beginning to be evident that 
the game of see-saw coiild not go on forever. Aatumu 



Trapped 

was approaching; the nation was becoming impatient^ 
and the scoflFs of the foreign press were severely gall- 
ing the naval pride of Kussia. 

I had picked up a certain amount of information in 
the capital itself, where a great number of the offi- 
cers were on leave. But I wished to get in direct 
touch with the one man who, I believed, was most 
likely to be in the confidence of Petrovitch, and, find- 
ing there was no chance of his coming to Petersburg, 
I had been obliged to make the journey to Revel. 

Vassileffsky acknowledged my bow with cordiality, 
at the same time fixing his dark, wicked eyes on me 
with a look which I well understood. 

I was wearing the uniform which I had ordered my 
assistant to provide me with, and the Captain had 
been quick to take note of it. 

It may be said that the most valuable part of a na- 
val officer's income in Bussia is derived from the 
peculation of government stores. To carry on this 
lucrative system of plimder there is always a good 
understanding between officials of the Stores De- 
partment and the combatant officers. 

Captain VassileflFsky now studied my face like a 
man expecting to receive some proposal of the kind. 
I, on my side, made it my business to say as little as 
possible to him till dinner was over. 

Then I called for a magnum of champagne, and 
invited my companion to fill a tumbler. 

16 ' 241 



The International Spy 



He did so readily enough, and I gave him the toast, 

" To the Emperor who wishes us well ! " 

VassileflFsky started, and gave me a i)enetrating 
look. 

He did not venture to put a question to me, how- 
ever, and contented himself with drinking the toast in 
silence. 

Determined not to say anything as long as the Cap- 
tain remained sober, I plied him with champagne in 
increasing quantities, while taking as little as possible 
myself. 

On his side VassileflFsky was equally reserved. He 
saw, of course, that I had a special object in court- 
ing his friendship, and was cunning enough to let me 
make the first advance. 

As soon as I thought the wine had had time to con- 
fuse his faculties, I leaned forward and whispered, 

" I've got something to say to you about Petro- 
vitch.'' 

The Captain looked at me eagerly. 

" Do you know where he is ? " 

" Not so loud. Yes. He has had to disguise him- 
self.'' 

I spoke in a muflled tone, which VassileflFsky imi- 
tated in his response. 

" Where is he ? I want to see him very badly." 

" I know. He wants to see you. He is here in 
Kevel." 

242 



'J 

I 

I 

: i: 



II- 



Trapped 

" In Eevel ! Isn't that dangerous ? " 

" It would be if he weren't so well disguised. You, 
yourself, wouldn't know him." 

Vassileffsky looked incredulous. 

" I bet I should." 

" Done with you I What in?" 

" A dozen magnums." 

" Pay for them, then, rm Petrovitch/* 

The Captain started, shook himself, and peered 
drunkenly into my face. 

" I don't believe it." 

" Eead that then." 

I drew out the passport, and spread it before him. 
The Eussian spelled his way through it, and nodded 
solemnly at the end. 

" Yes, that's all right. You must be Petrovitch, I 
suppose. But you don't look like him." 

" Didn't I tell you I was disguised. I had to clear 
out in a hurry. Some one's been denouncing me to 
Nicholas." 

Vassileffsky looked frightened. His eye sought the 
door, as though he no longer felt at ease in my com- 
pany. 

" You needn't be afraid," I assured him. " No one 
suspects you." 

" Well, what do you want ? " he asked sullenly. 

*^ I want you to take me on board your ship." 

An angry frown crossed his face. 

243 



The International Spy 



" You want me to hide you from the police I " 

" Nonsense. The police are all right They want 
me to get away. They could have put their hands on 
me long ago if they had wanted to." 

" Then why have you come here ? " 

" I told you. I want to have a talk with you about 
our plans." 

" The plan is all right But I want to know when 
we're to sail." 

" I'm doing all I can. It's only a question of 
weeks now." 

Vassileffsky looked hard at me again^ bent across 
the table, and whispered a word which I failed to 
understand. 

Something in his face warned me that it was a 
password. I recovered myself from my momentary; 
confusion and smiled. 

" The word's changed," I said with an air of au- 
thority. " It's North Sea and Canal/' 

The Eussian seemed satisfied. 

" Well," he said, stumbling to his feet, " if we're 
going on board we'd better go." 

" Don't forget the magnums," I put in, as I rose in 
my turn. 

The reckoning was settled, and the champagne or- 
dered to follow us down to the boat. 

Vassileffsky nearly lost his footing as we got out 
into the fresh air, and caught hold of my; arm. 

&44 



Thrapped 



" You'll have to lead me," he said, speaking thickly. 
" Straight along the street, and down the first turning 
on the quay." 

We walked along, arm-in-arm, my companion ap- 
pearing to become more helpless every minute. 

As we emerged from the narrow lane which con- 
ducted us to the waterside, the lights of the harbor 
burst into view. There on the tide lay a long line of 
stately battleships, cruisers and dark, low-lying tor- 
pedo boats, their riding lights flashing and twinkling 
in a thousand reflections on the waves. 

A drunken hail from the Captain was responded 
to by a respectful hail from a Russian petty officer, 
who was lounging at the head of some stone steps. 

He came forward and assisted his commanding 
officer down and into the launch which waited below. 
I followed, and the bottles of champagne were handed 
in afterward. 

Vassileffsky seized the tiller with more energy than 
he had seemed capable of, and headed the launch for 
a great battleship, the Beresina. 

In a few minutes we were alongside. A smart 
landing stage and ladder brought us up on to the 
deck, and as soon as our feet touched it. Captain Vas- 
sileffsky, suddenly drawing himself up, said in dis- 
tinct and sober tones, 

" Consider yourself under arrest, if you 
please " 

I was a prisoner on board a Bussian man-of-war I 

245 



CHAPTER XSVII 



THE BAITIO FLEET 




FORTUNATELY I am accustomed to 
face emergencies without losing my 
presence of mind. 

The manner of VaBsileffsky had pre- 
pared me for some display of sus- 
picion on his part, thou^ I hardly anticipated his 
procedure would be so theatrical. 

Fixing him with my sternest look, I responded, 
" Captain Vassileffsky, I do not think you quite 
imderatand what you are doing. I will talk to you 
in the morning, when you are more yourself." 
He drew back, considerably disconcerted. 
" Very well, I will listen to what you have to say 
in the morning. In the meantime you will be under 
a guard." 

I shrugged my shoulders with a disdainful smile. 
" Be good enough to let me see my quarters," I 
said. 

Kore and more abashed, the Captain summoned 
one of his officers, and gave him some instructions. 

" Follow me, sir," said the lieutenant. I walked 
after him with perfect self-possession. 
S46 



The Baltic Fleet 



" I do not wish to make a fuss to-night, as Captain 
VassilefFsky is not himself," I said haughtily, as we 
drew out of hearing. " But you will understand that 
unless I receive an apology in the morning, I shall 
complain to his majesty the Czar, by whose orders I 
am here." 

The lieutenant looked badly frightened. 

" It is not my fault, as you can see, sir. I am only 
obeying orders. Will you accept my own berth for 
the night, sir ? " 

I thanked him and entered a small, comfortably- 
fitted state-room. With profuse apologies, he turned 
the key and left me to my own reflections. 

I slept soundly, rocked by the tide of the Finland 
Gulf. 

In the morning my jailer came to wake me. 

" Captain Vassileffsky presents his compliments, 
and asks you to breakfast with him in his cabin, in 
half an hour." 

This message was a welcome proof to me that my 
bluff had produced the desired effect. I accepted the 
invitation as if it was a matter of course. 

I dressed, and went to the cabin where Vassileffsky 
awaited me. 

" Are we friends or foes this morning 1 " I called 

out with a good-humored laugh, as I greeted 

him. 

The Russian looked dull and nervous. 

247 



i 



The International Spy 



" I hope all will be well/^ he muttered. *' Let us 
have something to eat before we talk.'' 

He might have said, something to drink, for his 
own breakfast was mainly of champagne. I, myself, 
made a i)oint of eating heartily, and drank only 
coffee. 

" Ifow, Vassileffsky," I said in authoritative tones, 
" to business. First of all, you want some money." 

It was a guess, but a fairly safe one. Without 
waiting for the astonished man to reply, I took out 
my pocket-book. 

" How much can you do with till the fleet sails ? " 
I asked, still in the same matter-of-fact tone. 

Fairly nonplussed, the Captain blurted out, 

" I should like two thousand." 

I shook my head. 

I can let you have only a thousand now, but you 
shall have the balance this day week." I counted the 
thousand rubles, and handed them to him. '* They 
are grumbling, rather, in Beriin over the ex- 
pense." 

It was, of course, my object to give Vassileffsky no 
opening for a cross-examination, but to take it for 
granted that we were on confidential terms. 

At the word " Berlin " he opened his eyes pretty; 
wide. 

" Does this money come from Gtermany ? '' he ex* 

claimed, half -withdrawing his hand. 

24f9 



The Baltic Fleet 



I affected surprise in my turn. 

"You have not received any information at all, 
apparently! My message must have miscarried. 
Didn't the Princess see you ? '' 

Vassileffsky looked still more surprised. His de- 
meanor taught me a good deal. I saw that Petrovitch 
had not trusted him very far. The financier had evi- 
dently kept all the threads of the intrigue in his own 
hands^ as far as possible. 

So much the better, I reflected. His removal 
would disorganize matters even more thoroughly than 
I had ventured to hope. 

" What Princess ? " the Captain asked. 

" The Princess T , of course.^' 

He brightened up a little, as though this name, at 
all events, was familiar. 

" 'Noy she has not been here.^' 

" One can never trust these women,'' I muttered 
aloud. " She has not been at all the same since the 
death of her Englishman." 

" Of Sterling, do you mean? '^ 

" Yes. You heard of it, I suppose ! '' 

Vassileffsky grinned. 

" Eather sudden, wasn't it ? '' 

I smiled meaningly, as I retorted, 

" You remember he fainted rather unexpectedly 
that night he dined with me." 

A look of relief broke out on Vassileffsky's face, as 

240 



The International Spy 



I thus referred to an incident which he naturally sup- 
posed could be known only to Petrovitch. 

" My dear fellow, I beg a thousand pardons for my 
stupid conduct last night/' he burst out. " But you 
must admit that your disguise is extraordinary." 

" Not a word 1 " I returned. " It is always better 
to err on the side of distrust. Besides, I wished to 
spend a night on your ship in any case. Your crew 
can be thoroughly depended on, if I am any judge." 

" They would bombard the Tower of London, if I 
gave the word," boasted Vassileffsky. 

It is extraordinary how widely the belief prevails 
on the Continent of Europe that the London Tower 
is still a fortress, charged with the protection of the 
British capital. 

^^ At all events, they will not be frightened by the 
sight of the Union Jack ? " I returned. 

The Russian officer gave me an alarmed glance. 

" You do not mean — ^you are not asking us to fire 
on the British fleet ? " 

" N^o, no," I reassured him. 

" Ah, that is all right. For the moment I confess 
you frightened me. They say we shall have to pass 
Admiral Beresf ord ! " 

" What are you prepared to do ? " I asked, conceal- 
ing my deep interest in the reply. 

Vassileffsky's manner became slightly reproachful. 

" You did not bargain with me to attack an armed 

250 



The Baltic Fleet 



ship/' he said in the tone of one who reminds an- 
other of his agreement. " It was understood that we 
were to attack merchantmen, like the Vladivos- 
tockers," 

At last I had a direct confirmation of my sus- 
picions. 

" And what is the tone of the fleet generally ? " I 
inquired. 

" I have done my best to make them all of the same 
mind. They will do their best, depend on it. I think 
there will be a few English vessels mysteriously lost 
at sea during the next two or three months 1 The 
prize courts cannot always be depended on.'' 

By an effort I restrained my indignation at these 
atrocious hints. The Baltic Fleet was about to seek 
the open sea, secretly intending to miss no chance of 
sinking a British merchantman that should be un- 
lucky enough to cross its path. 

It was with a feeling of chagrin that I perceived it 
would be useless to send any message to Lord Bedale 
of what was in preparation. On certain subjects the 
British people are deaf and blind. They believe that 
all foreign statesmen are as high-minded as a Glad- 
stone, and all foreign officials as scrupulous and truth- 
ful as the Chevalier Bayard himseK. 

Captain Vassileffsky continued, 

" Our men are badly scared by reports of the 
Japanese plans. It is supposed that they have tor- 

251 



The International Spy 



pedo boats lurking in the English ports. Hull is said 
to be full of them." 

"Why,HuU?" 

Vassileffsky gave me a wink. 

" Hull is the great fishing center. Whole fleets of 
traders come out from there to the fishing banks in 
the North Sea. We are going to stir them up a 
bit." 

The outlines of the plot became every moment more 
clear. 

" On what pretext ? " I asked. 

The Bussian answered me without noticing that I 
was not so well informed as himself. 

" Oh, we shall find pretexts enough, you bet !For 
one thing, we shall signal them to clear out of the 
way, and when they have their trawl nets down and 
can't move! That will be lively. There will be a 
collision or two, I shouldn't wonder." 

" But isn't that against the rule of the road ? " 

Though not a seaman, I had always heard that a 
vessel in motion is bound to avoid one that is at rest. 
I knew, moreover, that a steamship was bound to make 
way for a sailing vessel. 

Vassileffsky cursed the rule of the road. 

" It will be a question of evidence," he exclaimed. 
" My word against a dirty fisherman's. What do you 
say ? " 

I pretended to be thoroughly satisfied. Still, know- 

252 



The Baltic Fleet 



ing what I did of the Bussian character, I had some 
hope that the Captain was boasting in order to impress 
me, and that he would not really dare to run down a 
British vessel within reach of the shores of England. 

Our conversation was interrupted by a gun. 

As the report died away, a junior officer ran down 
the companionway, helter-skelter, and burst into the 
cabin. 

" Something's up, sir,'^ he cried to his commander. 
" They are signaling from the Admiral's ship." 

Vassileffsky darted up the steps and on to the 
bridge, and I followed. 

The Baltic fleet presented a striking spectacle. 
Every vessel was busily reporting the signals from 
the flag ship, the launches were dashing to and fro, 
and there was every sign of bustle and activity. 

The signal officer read out Admiral Eojestvensky's 
order : 

" The fleet will proceed to Libau to-day en route to 
the East. Anchors will be weighed at noon. By 
order of the Ozar.'' 

M. Auguste had failed me at last I 

With the frightful boasts of VassileflFsky still ring- 
ing in my ears, I felt that I must make one effort to 
stay its departure. 

" This news compels me to return to Petersburg 
immediately,'' I told the Captain. ^* have the good- 
ness to put me ashore at once." 



\ 



The International Spy 



For a moment or two the Russian made no answer. 
I glanced at him curiously. 

His face had gone suddenly livid. His limbs were 
trembling. He gave me the dull look of a man stupe- 
fied by fear, 

" The Japanese ! ^' he ejaculated in a thick voice. 

I seized him by the arm. 

" Are you pretending? " I whispered. 

He gave me a savage glance. 

" It's true 1 '^ he said. " Those devils will be up to 
something. It's all over with the fleet. No one be- 
lieves we shall ever see Port Arthur." 

Grave and pre-occupied, I went ashore and caught 
a fast train to Petersburg. 

It was late when I got to the little house on the 
Alexander Quay. The faithful Breuil received me 
with a serious face. 

" Fauchette is here/' he announced. 

" Fauchette ? '' 

" Yes. She has some news for you." 

" Let me see her." 

I strode in front to my study, where I was imme- 
diately joined by the maid, who appeared not a little 
alarmed. 

I never like to see my assistants agitated. 

" Sit down, my good girl," I said soothingly. " Do 
not be afraid; I know what pains you take to serve 
me. Now, what is it ? " 

254 



The Baltic Fleet 



'^ Madame has dismissed me." 

I had feared as much. 

" On what grounds ? " 

" She gave none, except that she was leaving home." 

I pricked up my ears. 

" Did she tell you where she was going ? " 

" Yes, to her estates in the country." 

'^ It was a lie, I suppose. She had come to sus- 
pect you, had she not ? " 

" Since Monsieur's escape, I fear yes." 

" And have you ascertained ? " 

" The Princess has left Petersburg by the midday 
train for ^" 

" For ? " I broke in impatiently. 

" For Berlin." 

I rang the bell. Breuil appeared. 

" Have you got the tickets ? " I asked. 

" Yes, sir." 

" And my dress as a pilot of the Kiel Canal ? " 

" It is packed." 

" And what time does the next train leave ? " 

" In two hours from now." 

" Good. And now, my children, we will have sup- 
per." 



255 



CHAPTER yxvill 



OK THB TBAOE 




f S the really exciting moment of the pro- 
tpaeted atniggle drew near, I sum- 
moned all my energies to meet it. 

I alighted in Berlin armed only with 
two weaponfi, the passport made out 
in the name of Petroviteh, and a fairly accurate 
^owledge of the achemea, or at all events the hopes, 
of tie German Government. 

From the first beginning of my long investigation, 
all the clues I had picked up had led steadily in one 
direction. 

The great disorganized Empire of the Czar's, with 
its feeble-willed autocrat, its insubordinate grand 
dukes, it3 rival ministera pulling different ways, and 
its greedy oftteials whose country was their pockety 
had been silently and steadily enfolded in the inviai- 
ble web of German statecraft 

The brilliant personality of Wilhelm II had mag- 
netized the vacillating, timorous Nicholas. Count 
Eiilow had courted the Russian Foreign Office with 
the assiduous arts of a lover, and his wooing had 



On the Track 



been crowned by complete success. Through Petro- 
vitch the grand dukes had been indirectly bribed, and 
the smaller fry like M. Auguste had been bought out- 
right Even the Army and Navy had been cajoled, 
or bought, or terrorized by pretended revelations of 
Japanese designs. 

Russia had become a supple implement in the hands 
of the German Kaiser, the sovereign who for nearly 
twenty years had been striving toward one goal by a 
hundred different crooked paths. 

It was evident that the unexplained disappearance 
of Petrovitch must have struck consternation into his 

employers. I suspected that the Princess T- had 

been summoned to Berlin to throw light on the event, 
and possibly to be furnished with instructions which 
would enable her to take over the dead man's work. 

My position was now peculiarly difficult. I wished 
to get in touch with the principals for whom Petro- 
vitch had acted, but to avoid, if possible, meeting any 
one who had known him personally. 

Above all, I was determined not to risk an encoun- 
ter with Sophia. She knew that I was still alive, and 
I feared that her feminine intuition, quickened by 
love, would penetrate through whatever disguise I 
might adopt 

Under these circumstances I decided to begin by 
approaching Herr Pinkelstein, the head of the im- 
perial Secret Service in Berlin. 

17 267 



The International Spy 



This man was an old crony of mine. While a mag- 
nificent organizer of espionage, he was a poor observer 
himself, and I had already succeeded on one occasion 
in imposing myself on him under a false identity. 

I had brought with me the papers which I had ob- 
tained by bribery from the police agent Kostoy, rep- 
resenting me as an inspector in the secret police of 
the Russian Empire. 

Wearing my pilot's dress, but carrying these and 
other papers in my pocket, I presented myself at Fin- 
kelstein's office, and asked to see him. 

I was shown in first, as I had expected, to Finkel- 
stein's secretary, who asked me my business. 

" I can tell that only to the Herr Superintendent 
himself," I said. 

" If you will let him know that I have just come 
from Petersburg, I am sure he will receive me." 

The secretary seemed to think so too. He went 
straight into his chiefs room and came out immedi- 
ately to fetch me in. 

As soon as I found myself alone with the head of 
the Grerman service, I said quietly, 

"I have brought you a message from M. Petro- 
vitch." 

" Petrovitch ! " exclaimed the Superintendent, sur- 
prised out of his usual caution. " But he is dead ! " 

" You have been misinformed," I replied in an as- 
sured tone. 

2S9 



On the Track 



Finkelstein looked at me searchingly. 

" My informant does not often make mistakes," he 
observed. 

" The Princess is deceived this time, however," was 
my retort. 

It was a fresh surprise for the Superintendent 

" The Princess ! Then you know ? " He broke off 
short, conscious that he was making an admis- 
sion. 

" The Princess Y having left Petersburg, it 

was natural to suppose that she had come here to con- 
sult you," I answered modestly, not wishing to ap- 
pear too well informed. 

Finkelstein frowned. 

" You have not yet told me who you are," he re- 
minded me. 

I produced the forged papers. 

^^ I am an inspector attached to the Third Section, 
as you will see. I must inform you, however, that I 
am not here with the knowledge of my superiors." 

The German gave a glance at the papers, which 
were similar to others which he must have had pre- 
sented to him from time to time. 

" That is all satisfactory," he said, as he returned 
them to me. " But you say that you have a message 
from M. Petrovitch ? " 

"He had no opportunity of giving me any but 

this/' I responded, producing the passport. 

250 



The International Spy 



This time rinkelstein seemed really satisfied. 

" It is clear that you kaow something about him, at 
least," he remarked. " I will listen to what you have 
to say/' 

" M. Petrovitch is confined in Schliisselburg.'^ 

The name of the dreaded fortress, the last home 
of so many political prisoners, caused Finkelstein a 
shock. 

^' Oott im Himmel! You don't say so ! How did 
he get there ? Tell me everything/' 

" He does not know from what quarter the blow 
came. The only person he can think of who might 
have denounced him is the Princess herself." 

" The Princess Y ?" 

" Exactly." 

The German looked incredulous. 

" But they were hand in glove. The Princess was 
his best agent." 

" True. Unfortunately there is always one source 
of danger where a woman is concerned— she cannot 
control her affections. It appears that M. Petro- 
vitch ordered her to remove a certain Englishman, a 
spy of some kind, who was giving trouble, and 
Madame Y was attached to the fellow. She car- 
ried out her orders, but M. Petrovitch fears that she 
has taken revenge on him." 

Pinkelstein gave a superior smile. 

^' I can dispose of that suspicion," he said confi- 



260 



On the Track 



dently. " The Princess did not carry out her orders. 
The man yon speak of — ^who is the most dangerous 
and unprincipled scoundrel in the world — ^has es- 
caped, and we have lost all trace of him/' 

It was my turn to show surprise and alarm. 

" What you tell me is appalling 1 I ought to see 
the Princess as soon as possible. If what she says 
is true, it must be the Englishman who has brought 
about Petrovitch's arrest.^' 

"He is no Englishman," the Superintendent re- 
turned. " He is an American, a Pole, a Frenchman, 
whatever you please. That man has been at the bot- 
tom of all the troubles in Europe for the last twenty 
years. I have employed him myself, sometimes, so I 
ought to know something about him." 

I listened with an interest that was not feigned 
to this character of myself. It was, all the same, a 
lie that Einkelstein had ever employed me; on the 
contrary, I had been caUed in by Ms imperial master 
to check his work. 

" Then what is to be done ? " I asked, as the Ger- 
man finished speaking. " M. Petrovitch sent me here 
to warn you against the Princess, and to demand your 
influence to secure his release." 

" That will be a difficult matter. I shall have to 
consult the Minister. In the meantime, where can 
I find you ? " 

I mentioned the name of a hotel. 

261 



The International Spy 



"And the Princess Y ? Where can I see 

her?'^ 

" I expect that she has left for Kiel," said the Su- 
perintendent " She has volunteered to carry out the 
plan originally proposed by Petrovitch." 

" Then in that case you will not require my ser- 
vices ? " I said, with an air of being disappointed. 
" M. Petrovitch thought you might find me useful in 
his place," 

" I must consult others before I can say anything 
as to that," was the cautious reply. 

He added rather grudgingly, 

" I did not know M. Petrovitch myself, you see. 
It was thought better that he should not come to Ber- 
Un." 

This statement relieved me of a great anxiety. I 
now saw my way to take a bolder line. 

" So I understood, sir. But I did not venture to 
approach his majesty except through you." 

Finkelstein started again, and gave me a new look 
of curiosity. 

" Who authorized you to mention the Emperor ? " 

I tried to play the part of a man who has made an 
unintentional slip. 

" I spoke too quickly. Petrovitch informed me — 
that is to say, I supposed — ^" I broke down in feigned 
confusion. 

I knew inquisitiveness to be the Superintendent's 



262 



On the Track 



besetting sin, and, up to a certain point, I had an in- 
terest in tempting him on. 

" You appear to be more in the confidence of M. 
Petrovitch than you are willing to admit," he said 
sagely. " Up to the present you have not explained 
how he came to make you his messenger." 

I leaned back with a faint smile. 

" I imagine you are quite astute enough to guess 
my secret, if you choose, Herr Finkelstein. But you 
must excuse me if I am a little careful whom I trust, 
especially after the behavior of Princess Y ." 

" You are M. Petrovitch himself ! Of course ! I 
thought as much all along," Finkelstein said with a 
smile of triumph. " Well, you are certainly right to 
be cautious ; but, as you see, it is not easy to deceive 
an old hand like myself." 

" At all events you will be at least equally cautious, 
I hope. What you tell me about this international 
spy being still at large has disturbed me a good deal, 
I confess." 

"Make your mind easy," the German returned 
with a patronizing air. " We are in Berlin here, not 
in Petersburg. This gentleman will not venture with- 
in my reach, I assure you." 

I professed every satisfaction with this guarantee, 
and took my leave. 



263 



CHAPTER XXIX 



AH JMPEBIAL FANATia 




I WAS now to face Wilhelm IL 

It was solely for this purpose that I 
had come to Berlin. But I knew the 
great advantage of getting mjself 
vouched for in advance by a third 
party, and therefore I had been anxious to convince 
Finkelstein of my identity in the £rBt place, eo that 
his master might accept me without inquiry as to 
■whether I was the man I claimed to be. 

I dined quietly in my hotel, a small tavern in a back 
street. It was getting late, and I was on the point of 
going to bed, when I heard the noise of a motor msh- 
ing up and stopping suddenly outside the little inn. 
An aide-de-camp burst in upon me. 
" Tour name, sir? " he demanded in a vrhiaper. 
" Petrovitch/' I replied in the same tone. 
" Come this way, if you please." 
In less than a minute I was seated in the car, which 
was dashing at a really dangerous pace through the 
nearly deserted streets. 

2H 



An Imperial Fanatic 



" I am taking you to Potsdam," was all the ex- 
planation my companion thought necessary. 

It did not take us long to reach the famous palace 
of Frederick the Great, which the growth of Berlin 
has almost turned into a suburban residence. 

My conductor brought me past all the sentries and 
servants, and led me down some steps into what 
seemed to be a subterranean hall. It was decorated 
with statues and paintings of the ancestors of Wil- 
helm II., together with weapons, suits of armor, and 
banners of the successive periods in which they lived. 

But the most striking object in the hall or crypt — 
for it might have been either — ^was a trophy erected 
on a species of altar at one end, exhibiting a variety 
of crowns. 

At the foot were a number of small coronets, rep- 
resenting those worn by the former Margraves of 
Brandenburg, in whom the Hohenzollem family took 
its rise. Above were ranged the crowns of the Kings 
of Prussia, that of Frederick the Great being in the 
center. Still higher rose the. three imperial crowns 
of Germany, those of William I., Frederick III., and 
the present Emperor. And then, right on the summit, 
came a still more gorgeous object, whose like I had 
never seen before. 

It was a colossal miter, somewhat after the fashion 

of the Papal tiara, wrought out of pure gold, thickly 

studded with great pearls, and surmounted by a cross. 

265 



The International Spy 



But I had barely time to notice this singular dis- 
play. As my guide left me on the threshold of the 
hall, I was aware that I stood in the presence of the 
German Emperor. 

This extraordinary monarch, whose great and far- 
reaching views are combined with a type of extrava- 
gance which has long made him looked upon as the 
enfant terrible of Europe, was about to teach me a 
new side of his character. 

He received me seated in a small ivory chair like a 
throne, and attired in a garment of pontifical design. 

"Advance, M. Petrovitch," he commanded in a 
loud voice. 

As I stood in front of him, he said theatrically, 

" I receive you in the Hall of the HohenzoUems. 
You see around you the sacred memorials of the fam- 
ily which Providence has raised up to be the saviors of 
Europe, and the future rulers of the world." 

In response to this invitation I took a longer and 
more comprehensive view of the various objects al- 
ready described. The Kaiser condescended to point 
some of them out to me with a long two-handed sword 
which he held. 

I began to suspect seriously that the megalomania 
which has always formed one of Wilhelm's charac- 
teristic traits, was overpowering his good sense. 

"M. Petrovitch," my august cicerone proceeded, 
" you see there the crowns which have been won and 

266 



An Imperial Fanatic 



worn by my illustrious and never-to-be-forgotten an- 
cestors. Can you guess the meaning of the diadem 
above — ^which I have designed myself ? 

" That," declared the last and most remarkable of 
the Hohenzollems, " is intended to be worn by that 
member of my Family who shall be called by the 
united voice of the other sovereigns to the supreme 
world monarchy. It is destined to be our Planetary 
Crown." 

I bowed in stupefaction. The Kaiser seemed 
pleased with the impression he had made. • 

" And now," he said, " since it is necessary that 
I should be sure of you before I trust you with my 
plans, kneel down." 

I knelt, feeling as if I were in a dream. Wilhelm 
II. solemnly held out the hilt of his two-handed 
sword : — 

" You swear to yield faith, loyalty and utter obedi- 
ence now and henceforth to Almighty God, and the 
Head of the Hohenzollems I " 

It being impossible to refuse the oath in the cir- 
cumstances, I kissed the sword, with a mental reserva- 
tion. 

Wilhelm II. surprised me by thereupon laying it 
across my shoulders. 

"I dub thee knight of the Sacred Order of the 
Hohenzollems I Arise." 

I got up, thoroughly confused. The Emperor in- 

267 



The International Spy 



vited me to be seated, and proceeded to deliver a 
harangue — ^for it was nothing less. 

" Bismarck had not sufficient genius to see the des- 
tiny of the Hohenzollems. With the vision of a mere 
German Junker, he looked on Russia as the enemy. 

" It is I who have changed all that. I have taught 
the Czar to look to me for guidance and protection. 
Should the present revolutionary movement become 
dangerous, I shall march at the head of my army to 
the rescue, and reinstate the Romanoffs as my vassals. 

" The only obstacle in the path of the Hohenzol- 
lems is an island which two of my Army Corps could 
subdue in a fortnight. But in order to invade it with 
safety, I must have France on my side. 

" It is for this end that I have been working. 
France cherishes a grudge against me because of the 
glorious exploits of my immortal grandfather. More- 
over, my imcle, Edward VII., has contrived to win 
the friendship of the Republicans. 

" But France is the ally of Russia, and if Russia 
is attacked, France must draw the sword on her be- 
half. 

" You understand ? — ^with the first shot which is 
fired by a British warship on the Russian flag, I shall 
be able to invade England. '^ 

I understood indeed. Briefly and plainly Wilhelm 

II. had summed up the result of my own inquiries 

and reasonings. 

268 



An Imperial Fanatic 



" It is you/' the Emperor proceeded, " who have 
undertaken to secure this result^' 

I bowed, intensely desirous to know exactly what it 
was that Petrovitch had pledged himseH to do. 

" I have just rewarded you for the services you 
have already rendered, by admitting you to my Fam- 
ily Order, an order which I intend shall take prece- 
dence of the Golden Fleece, and even the Garter. 
Should you carry out your present task to my satis- 
faction I shall consider no reward too great for you." 

I trembled as I listened to this wild vaporing. If 
such were the private thoughts of the Kaiser, no won- 
der some of his public utterances smacked of the 
visionary. 

I could not doubt that he was thoroughly in earnest 
Long brooding on the greatness of his ancestors, and 
his own importance as the sole European ruler who 
has kings for his satellites, had filled him with the 
fanatical spirit of a Mohammed or a Hildebrand. 
He believed, firmly and sincerely believed, that Provi- 
dence had called him to the sovereignty of the globe, 
and authorized him to sweep every rival out of his 
path. 

"Tour majesty overwhelms me," I murmured* 
" Consider, sire, that to be your servant is in itself 
an honor so great that no other reward is necessary." 

The Kaiser smiled graciously. 

" Well, now, M. de Petrovitch — " his majesty em- 

269 



The International Spy 



phasized the particle by way of reminding me that I 
was now a knight of the important Order of Hohenzol- 
lem — " let us discuss your next step." 

I seized the opportunity to obtain the information. 
I was so anxious to secure. 

" I should feel it presumptuous to enter into any- 
thing like a discussion with you, sire. If your ma- 
jesty will be gracious enough to impart your criticism 
on my proposal ? " 

Wilhelm II. looked at me as though he found me 
to be a person of much good sense. 

"Tour idea, my dear de Petrovitch, as I under- 
stand it, is to provoke the British to reprisals by some 
outrage on the part of the Baltic Fleet during its 
passage to the Far East. 

" Unfortunately, as you must see, the British are 
determined not to be provoked. Remember what 
has been done already. You have captured and sunk 
their ships, in violation of international law; you 
have sent out volunteer cruisers from the Black Sea 
in defiance of treaties, and turned back their mail 
steamers with government stores on board. 

" What has been the result ? The English Govern- 
ment has complained to yours ; the Czar has ordered 
explanations to be given, and the thing has blown 
over. 

" This time there must be something more than 
that. There must be something which cannot be ex- 
plained away. We must if possible place Nicholas 

270 



An Imperial Fanatic 



II., as well as Great Britain, in a position from which 
neither can retreat without loss of honor. 

" To this end it is necessary that the Baltic !Fleet 
should commit an act of war, and that the Czar 
should be convinced that the provocation has come 
from the English side. Do you understand ? " 

I recalled the hints dropped by Captain Vassileff- 
sky at Revel. 

" Your majesty has been informed perhaps that I 
have caused the officers and men of the Fleet to believe 
that they will find Japanese torpedo boats lying in 
wait for them among the English fishing vessels in 
the ITorth Sea. In consequence, they will be ready 
to fire without waiting to see if the torpedo boats are 
really there, especially if the fishermen fail to retire 
as the Fleet approaches." 

The Kaiser shook his head. 

" All that is leaving too much to chance, my good 
de Petrovitch. What is required is something more 
positive. In short, the torpedo boats must really be 
there." 

I lifted my eyes to his. 

" There is not a Japanese torpedo boat within ten 
thousand miles of the North Sea, unfortunately." 

Wilhelm II. smiled a meaning smile. 

" If that is all, we must so far forget the duties of 

neutrality as to allow the friends of Japan to procure 

a craft suitable for the purpose from our dockyard 

at Kiel." 

271 



1 



CHAPTER ^YY 



THS STOLEN BUBMASINS 




§S the full extent of this audacioua plot 
^M ^^^ ^^^^ b^^ before my eyea I had a 
difficulty in believing in its reality. 

I waa obliged to remind myself of 
some of the maneuvrea which have 
marked German statecraft in the recent past, of the 
forgeries and " reinsurance " treaties of Bismarck, 
of the patronage extended to Abdul Kamid, of the 
secret intrigue that brought about the disasters of 
Greece. 

If I had had any scepticism left, the Emperor 
would have dispelled it by the clear and business-like 
explanations which followed. 

His majesty produced a chart of the Tforth Sea, 
showing the coasts of Great Britain and Germany, 
with the Kiel Canal and so forth. Half-way between 
the opposite shores a dotted outline marked the situ- 
ation of the great shoals which attract the fish, and 
from which the harvests of the sea are gathered by 
the brave and industrious toilers of Grimsby, Hull, 
and many another port, 

From the northern point of Denmark, two lines in 



I* 



The Stolen Submarine 



red ink were drawn right down the map to where 
the North Sea narrows into the Straits of Dover. 

The first of these lines was fairly direct, passing 
about thirty miles to the eastward of the great fish- 
ing grounds. 

The second line took a wide curve to the west, and 
crossed right over the center of a shoal marked " Dog- 
ger Bank." 

The Kaiser proceeded to explain. 

" This is a duplicate of the charts used by the pilots 
of the North Sea. I have oflFered my brother Nicho- 
las as a special favor the services of German pilots, 
and they will board the vessels of the Baltic Fleet as 
soon as it leaves Danish waters. 

" As you see, the right course would take the fleet 
a long way off the English fishing^boats. But the 
pilots who go on board will receive secret orders at 
the last moment to take the Bussian ships over the 
Dogger Bank, and, if possible, into the very midst 
of any fishing fleet that may be there. 

" Then all that is required is that you should be 
on the spot, and should fire the first shot from the 
midst of the fishing-boats." 

I endeavored to preserve a calm demeanor. 

'^ May I suggest to your majesty that the presence 
of a torpedo boat among them is likely to arouse sus- 
picion beforehand. The English sailors have keen 
eyes." 

278 



The International Spy 



" I have thought of that. It will be necessary for 
you to have a submarine." 

" A submarine, sire ! " 

" Certainly. I have had six submarine torpedo 
boats built by xny own designs at Kiel since this war 
broke out, for use in defending the approaches to the 
Canal. 

" These boats are now lying in the inner harbor, all 
fitted out and ready for sea. 

" You will take one, with a crew of your own, 
whom you must enlist secretly, and slip out through 
the Canal into the North Sea. 

" You will proceed, keeping under the surface, till 
you reach the Dogger Bank, and find yourself among 
the trawl nets of the English fishermen. 

" There you will wait till such time as the Bussian 
ships come up. 

" As soon as the right moment has arrived, you 
will rise to the surface and discharge a torpedo. As 
soon as you have drawn the fire of the Russians, and 
have seen an English fishing-boat struck, you can go 
beneath the surface again, and make the best of your 
way back to Kiel." 

" Your plan is perfection itself, sire ! " I exclaimed 
with an admiration which was not wholly pretended, 
since the idea really was not lacking in cleverness. 

The Kaiser nodded good-humoredly. 

" The Russians will never be persuaded they were 

274 



The Stolen Svhmarine 



not attacked first, and the English will never pass 
over such an outrage in their own waters," his majesty 
remarked complacently. "Lord Charles Beresford 
will do the rest" 

" I am ready to carry out your orders, sire. All 
I require is an authority to take the submarine from 
Kiel." 

The Kaiser frowned. 

" Have you had any authority from me for any- 
thing you have done up to the present, sir ? " he dc 
manded harshly. 

As an answer in the negative was clearly expected, 
I gave it. 

" Understand me, M. de Petrovitch, I repose every 
confidence in you ; but I should not have held this con- 
versation with any man, even my Chancellor, if I 
thought it could ever be used against me. If I gave 
you the authority you ask for, I should not be able to 
deny that I had ever employed you, in case of 
trouble." 

" Then you propose, sire ? " 

" I intend you to take this vessel secretly, without 
authority from me or from any one else." 

" And if I am caught in the act of taking it? If 
any of the naval authorities question my move- 
ments ? " 

" You will not be caught. Your movements will 
not be questioned. I can assure you of so much." 

275 



The International Spy 



" I thank yon, sire. That is quite sufficient'* 

I retired from the imperial presence, though not, as 
I have had some reason to suspect, from the imperial 
observation. In other words, I felt pretty well con- 
vinced that there would be a watch on my move- 
ments till my task was over. 

The same aide-de-camp awaited me outside the 
Hall of the Hohenzollerns, and carried me back to my 
obscure hotel with the same speed and silence as he 
had brought me. 

The next morning I arose to find the papers filled 
with the news of the departure of the Baltic Fleet 
from Libau. 

The Eussian Admiral, as if in obedience to the 
secret promptings of Berlin, was reported as having 
issued a preposterous and illegal warning that he 
should fire on any ship of any nation that presumed 
to venture within reach of his guns. I could not help 
wondering what would be thought of this proclama- 
tion in the British Admiralty. 

There being no more for me to do in Berlin, 
I took the first train to Kiel, the Portsmouth of Ger- 
many. Kiel itself, it will be remembered, stands at 
the Baltic end of the famous canal which the present 
Kaiser has had constructed for his warships to pasB 
out to the North Sea without going around Den- 
mark. 

It was late when I arrived, but I determined to 

27a 



ritaiKM 



The Stolen Suhmarine 



lose no time in seeing how far the secret orders of the 
Kaiser extended. 

Accordingly, as soon as I had dined, I went out and 
took my way toward the government dockyard. 

The entrance to the dockyard was guarded by a 
sentry with fixed bayonet. Behind him I saw a large 
iron gate which appeared to be heavily barred, with a 
small postern at one side, which was also closed. 

I advanced toward the sentry, expecting every mo- 
ment to hear a challenge ring out. To my genuine 
astonishment, nothing of the kind occurred. The sen- 
try did not pay the slightest attention to me, but went 
on pacing to and fro as though I had been wearing a 
cap of invisibility. 

I went up to the postern door, and tried the handle. 
It opened at a touch, and I f oimd myself alone in the 
deserted dockyard. 

For some time I groped my way forward by the 
light of the few scattered electric lights, till I reached 
the edge of a large basin which appeared to com- 
municate with the outer harbor of Kiel. 

Turning the opposite way, I went along the edge of 
the wharf, picking my way among timber balks, stacks 
of iron sheeting, chains, ropes, and all the other things 
that are found scattered about a naval dockyard. 

At the head of the great basin I found a lock giving 

access to a small inner dock, in which a number of 

vessels were moored. 

277 



The International Spy 



I made my way around, searching everywhere for 
the vessels I had been told I should find. 

At last, in the farthest and most secluded comer, 
I perceived a row of small craft, shaped much like a 
shark, with a long narrow tube or funnel rising up 
from the center of each. 

They lay low in the water, without being sub- 
merged. Alone among the shipping they carried no 
riding-lights. They appeared dark, silent, and de- 
serted. 

Almost unconsciously I ran my eye along them, 
coimting them as they lay. Suddenly I was arouised 
to keen attention. 

One — ^two — ^ihree — ^four — ^five. The Kaiser had 
assured me that I should find six submarines to choose 
froml 

I counted once more with straining eyes. 

One — two — three — four — -five. 

One of the mysterious craft had been taken away I 



278 



CHAPTER XXXI 



THE KIEL OAHAL 




AT was impossible to resist the conclusion 
suggested by the absence of the sixth 
submarine. 

I was not the only person who had 
been authorized, or rather instructed, 
to carry out the design against the Baltic Fleet. My 
august employer had thought it better to have two 
strings to his bow. 

Who, then, was the person by whom I had been 
anticipated ? 

To this question an answer suggested itself which 
I was tempted to reject, bat which haunted me, and 
would not be dismissed. 

The Princess Y had arrived in Berlin twelve 

hours before me. She had come, fully believing that 
Petrovitoh was dead, and prepared to take his place. 
She had interviewed Finkelstein, as I knew. Was 
it not poBsible that she, also, had been received in tlie 
crypt at Potsdam, had been shown the chart of the 
North Sea, with its ominous red lines, and had ac- 
cepted the task of launching one of the submarines 
on its fatal errand i 

279 



The International Spy 



In spite of all the stories which had been told me 
of Sophia's daring and resource, in spite of my own 
experiences of her adventures and reckless proceed- 
ings, I did not go so far as to credit her with having 
proceeded to sea in the missing craft. 

But it struck me as altogether in keeping with her 
character that she should have arranged for the with- 
drawal of the boat, provided it with a crew, and 
despatched it fully instructed as to the work to be 
done. 

But whether these suspicions were well founded or 
otherwise, of one thing there could be no doubt. A 
submarine had been taken by some one, and was now 
on its way to the North Sea, to lie in wait for the 
ships of Admiral Rojestvensky. 

This discovery entirely changed the position for 
me. 

I had come down to Kiel intending to take a sub- 
marine out to sea, to watch for the approach of the 
Russian fleet, and to take whatever steps proved prac- 
ticable to avert any collision between it and the fiah- 
ing-boats on the Dogger Bank. 

I now saw that the chance of my preventing a ca- 
tastrophe depended entirely on the movements of the 
boat which had left already. This boat had become 
my objective, to use a strategical phrase. 

Somewhere in the North Sea was a submarine boat, 

charged with the mission of provoking a world-wide 

war. And that boat I had to find. 

280 



The Kiel Canal 



There was no time to be lost I hastened back by 
the most direct way I could find, to the dockyard 
gates. The little postern was still unlocked, and I 
passed out, the sentry again taking no notice of mjr 
passage. 

But at the first street comer I saw a man in sea- 
fariog dress who fixed a very keen gaze on me as I 
came up, and saluted me by touching his cap. 

" Good-night,*' I said in a friendly voice, slowing 
down in my walk. 

" Good-night, sir. Beg pardon, Captain," — ^he 
came and moved along beside me — "but you don't 
happen to know of a job for a seafaring man, I sup- 
pose ? '' 

I stopped dead, and looked him straight in the eyes. 

" How many men do you estimate are required to 
navigate a submarine ? " I asked. 

" Fifteen," was the prompt answer. 

"How soon can you have them here?" was my 
next question. 

The fellow glanced at his watch. 

" It's half -past eleven now, Captain. I could col- 
lect them and bring them here by half -past one." 

" Do it, then," I returned and walked swiftly away. 

The whole thing, it was evident, had been pre- 
arranged, and I did not choose to waste time in mobk 
negotiations. 

I went back to mjr inn to wait, but there was noth- 

281 



The International Spy 



ing for me to do, except examine the cartridges in my 
revolver. I was not quite sure how much my crew 
had been told, and I thought it just possible that I 
might have some trouble with them when they found 
out the nature of my proceedings. 

Pimctually at the hour fixed I returned to the street 
outside the dockyard, where I found jBfteen men as- 
sembled. 

Glancing over them, I formed the opinion that they 
were picked men, on whom I could have relied thor- 
oughly for the work I had been ordered to do, but 
who might be all the more likely to mutiny if they 
suspected that I was playing false. 

I stood in front of them in the silence of the street. 

" Now, my men, if there is any one of you who is 
not prepared to obey me, even if I order him to scuttle 
the ship, let him fall out before we start. 

"Not a man stirred. I^ot an eyelash quivered. The 
Grerman discipline had done its work. 

" I give you notice that the first man who hesitates 
to carry out my orders will be shot." 

The threat was received with perfect resignation. 

" FoUow me." 

I turned on my heel, and led the way to the dock- 
yard gates, the men marching after me with a regu- 
lar tramp which could only have been acquired on the 
deck of a man-of-war. 

The sentry was, if possible, more indifferent to our 

282 



The Kiel Canal 



approach than he had been when I had been alone. 
I threw open the wicket, and bade the last man close 
it. 

Then we marched in the same order to the place 
where the five submarines were moored. 

" I am going on board one of these boats/^ I an- 
nounced. " Find something to take us off/^ 

The man whom I had engaged originally, taking 
on himself the part of mate, repeated my directions. 
A large whale-boat was found tied up in a convenient 
spot beside the wharf. 

We all got in, and I took the tiller. The mate, who 
answered to the Russian name of Orloff, though the 
only language I heard him speak was German, said 
nothing till I brought the whale-boat alongside of the 
nearest submarine. 

" I beg pardon. Captain, but I have a fancy that 
the boat at the far end is in better trim, if you have 
no choice.^' 

" Why didn't you tell me so at once ? " I returned 
sharply, not too well pleased to find him so well in- 
formed. 

We boarded the submarine pointed out, and found 
it, of course, provided with everything necessary for 
an immediate departure, including provisions for a 
week. 

" You understand the navigation of the Canal, I 
suppose ? " I inquired of Orloff. 

283 



The International Spy 



" I do, sir." 

" Very good. Take the boat throiigh. And ascer- 
tain all that you can about another submarine which 
must have passed through yesterday. Wake me if 
you hear or see anything." 

I lay down in the captain's berth and tried to sleep. 
But the excitement and, I may say, the romantic 
interest of the adventure proved too strong for me. 

I rose again, and came to where my deputy was 
seated, carefully conning the boat out of the dockyard 
basin into the Baltic end of the great Canal. 

We were already submerged, only the tip of our 
conning staff being out of the water. But by an in- 
genious system of tiny mirrors the steersman was able 
to see his way as plainly as if he had been on deck 
above the surface. 

On approaching the lock by which the basin opened 
into the Canal, no signal appeared to be given. Si- 
lently, as if of their own accord, the huge sluices 
opened and shut, and we glided out into the great 
waterway which has made the German Navy inde- 
pendent of Danish good-will. 

The voyage along the Kiel Canal in the silence of 
the night was deeply interesting, and were I not 
obliged to restrict myself severely to the naked out- 
line of such facts as bear directly on the catastrophe, 
I should like to attempt a description of the weird and 
picturesque scene. 

284 



The Kiel Canal 



Keeping steadily just iinder the surface, we pro- 
ceeded swiftly past ports and villages and lonely 
wharves, till the stars paled and disappeared and a 
faint flush overspreading the sky in front warned us 
that day was breaking behind us. 

I searched the banks for anything resembling the 
craft of which I was in search, but in vain. We 
passed many other ships, chiefly merchantmen bound 
for Lubeck and Dantzig and other Baltic ports, but of 
course without being perceived ourselves. 

When we reached the mouth of the Canal, I ordered 
Orloff to stop. 

" I must go ashore here, and inquire about the other 
boat," I explained. 

I saw from the expression of his f a(^ that this step 
was not quite to his liking, but he did not venture on 
any remonstrance. 

He brought the boat alongside the bank, and raised 
her gently to the surface, to enable me to step on shore. 

But my quest proved useless, as perhaps I ought 
to have foreseen. 

The harbor-master, or port captain, to whom I ad- 
dressed myself, affected the most entire ignorance of 
the exit of any submarine within the last week or 
more. 

" What you suggest is impossible," he assured me. 
"Every submarine is well known and carefully 
guarded, and if one had been permitted to leave Kiel 



295 



The International Spy 



by way of the Canal, I shotdd have been notified in 
advance. No such notification has reached me, and 
therefore, as yon will see, no snch boat can possibly 
have left." 

I suspected that he was lying, but I thought it un- 
safe to persist. 

It occurred to me too late that I had been guilty of 
some imprudence in showing so much anxiety on the 
subject. It was only too probable that my inquiries 
would be reported to the Kaiser, who would draw his 
own inferences in the event of anything going wrong. 

I returned on board my own boat, saying nothing to 
OrloflF, and gave the order to proceed. 

Orloff had handed over the wheel to one of his 
subordinates, who steered the submarine out into the 
blue waters of the North Sea. 

As soon as we were well out of reach of the Slesvig 
shore, I said to the steersman, 

" Now I will take the helm." 

Instead of promptly relinquishing il^ to me, the 
man turned his head in search of Orloff, saying at 
the same time, 

" Do you understand the course, sir ? " 

I saw that if I meant to be master of the vessel, I 
must prove that my words of the night before were 
spoken in earnest. I drew my revolver, and put a bul- 
let through the mutineer's head. 



280 



CHAPTER XXXn 



THE DOOOEB BAITE 




SHE sound of the explosion revepberated 
through Uie little craft like thunder. 
Orloff and half a dozen more men came 
rushing up. 

" This man disobeyed me," I said, 
quietly, slipping a fresh cartridge into the smoking 
chamber of my revolver. " Throw the body over- 
board, and return to your duties." 

What instructions Orloff and his men had received 
it was imposaible for me to guess. But they clearly 
did not authorize any breach of discipline at this stage 
of the voyage. 

Without the slightest demur ihey lifted up the 
body, and carried it off. I had learned the way to 
manage the submarine by watehing Orloff during the 
night, and I now pressed a lever which brought us 
swiftly to the surface. There was a sound of tramj(- 
ling feet overhead, followed by a splash, and I saw 
the mutineer's body drift past 

It would be idle to seek for words in which to de- 
scribe the overpowering anxiety which rad^ mj 



The International Spy 



nerves as we tore through the water. The peace of 
Europe, the safety of Japan and Great Britain, per- 
haps the future of the world, might be at stake. 

Everything depended on my finding the other sub- 
marine before it had launched its bolt against the 
great war fleet which was even now steaming through 
the Danish Belts, officered by men, some of whom I 
knew to be ready to take advantage of any pretext 
for outraging the peace of the seas. 

It did not take me long to decide that the neighbor- 
hood of the Dogger Bank was the most likely place, 
in fact the only place, for my search. 

I am not wholly unskilled in navigation, having 
given up a good deal of my spare time to yachting. 
With the aid of a chart which was on board, I had 
little difficulty in keeping a fairly straight course for 
the famous fishing ground. 

On the way I did not neglect the opportunity of ac- 
quiring a complete command over the movements of 
the submarine. 

It was driven by electricity, and so designed that 
by means of various knobs, one man could control it 
entirely, steering it, raising or lowering it in the wa- 
ter, increasing or slackening speed, stopping, bacHng, 
and even discharging the^rpedo which w^^^ il. o^; 
weapon of attack — ^with the exception of a small sharp 
ram at the bow. 

Having asserted my authority, and acquired tbe 

288 



The Dogger Bank 



practical knowledge I needed, I at last called Orloff 
to me, and gave him the wheel. 

'* Take me to the Dogger Bank. Warn me as soon 
as we get near any fishing-boats, and above all keep 
a careful lookout for our consort.^' 

It was by this name that I thought it most prudent 
to refer to the object of my search. 

Orloff took the wheel, and said immediately with an 
air of great respect, 

" You have laid a marvelously straight course. Cap- 
tain. I was not aware that you were familiar with 
these waters. The Dogger Bank is right ahead, and 
we shall reach it in less than an hour.'' 

An hour later I was conscious of a light shock as 
the submarine stopped. 

We had grounded on the sandy shoal of the Dogger, 
in twenty fathoms of water, and overhead I could see 
great black shadows sweeping slowly past. 

They were cast by the trawlers of the Gamecock 
fleet. 

It being still daylight I did not venture to let the 
submarine show itself on the surface of the sea. 

Hugging the bottom, I steered in and out among 
the great trailing nets of the fisher fleet. 

At the same time I ordered my crew to keep a sharp 
watch for the first submarine, promising fifty marks * 
to the man who sighted her. 

* A silver mark is about twenty cents of our money. 

289 



The International Spy 



The rest of that day passed without anything hap- 
pening. 

As soon as darkness fell I brought my boat up to 
the surface, partly in order to renew the air supply, 
and partly to scan the horizon in search of the on- 
coming Bussian fleet. 

But thanks to the promptness with which I had 
gone out to sea I had anticipated Bojestvensky by 
twenty-four hours. The Baltic Fleet was still in Dan- 
ish waters, waiting to pick up the German pilots who 
were to lure it from its course. 

Finding there were no signs of the Bussians, I sub- 
merged the submarine, all except the little conning 
tube, which was invisible in the darkness, and ran in 
among the English smacks. 

As I heard the brave, hardy fishermen talking 
to one another, the temptation was a strong one 
to disclose myself, and warn them of the coming 
peril. 

Only my experience of the uselessness of such warn- 
ings restrained me. I knew that these simple, law- 
abiding citizens would laugh me in the face if I told 
them that they were in danger from the warships of a 
foreign Power. 

As my unseen vessel glided softly past the side of 
one fishing-boat, whose name I could just make as the 
Crane, I overheard a few scraps of conversation, 
which threw a pathetic light on the situation. 

290 



The Dogger Bank 



" We shall have the Rooshians comiiig along pres- 
ently/' said one voice. 

" No," answered another, " tibey won't come any- 
where near us. 'Tis out of their course/' 

" They do say the Rooshians don't know much 
about seamanship," a third voice spoke out " Like as 
not we'll see their searchlights going by." 

"Well, if they come near enough, we'll give the 
beggars a cheer ; what d'ye say ? " 

" Aye, let's. Fair play's what I wishes 'em, and 
let the best man win." 

The words died away along the water, as I drew oflE 
and let my craft sink under once again. 

That night I slept soundly, making up for the vigil 
of the night before. The submarine rested on the 
sea floor, in a hollow of the undulating Bank, and one 
of the crew kept watch in case a " trawl " should come 
too close 

But there was no sign of the mysterious companion 
which had come out of Kiel Harbor in front of me, 
and was even now prowling somewhere in the dark 
depths around. 



291 



CHAPTER TCXYTU 



TSAPAIX^AB DAT 




3 N the moming I was conacioua of a cer- 
tain stir and display on board Bome of 
the fishing boats among which I cM)n- 
tinued to lurk. 

At first I supposed that the Baltic 
Pleet must have been sighted. But in the course of 
the day I gathered from various cries and shouts 
which w«re borne across the water, that the fisher- 
men were keeping the anniversary of the most glori- 
ous day in the history of England, the day on which 
the immortal iN'elson annihilated the united fleets of 
France and Spain, and shattered the dream of the 
great Napoleon that he could tame the haughly 
Island Power. 

As long as daylight lasted I scoured tiie sea for a 
distance of five miles all around the devoted fishing 
fleet, without coming on the slightest trace of the 
other submarine. 

A delusive hope assailed me that some accident 
mi^t have overtaken it. But I did not relax my 
vigilance and when night fell I took up a station 



iMNirikMMiril 



Trafalgar Day 



about a mile in front of the English smacks, in the 
direction from which I had reason to expect the ap- 
proach of Eojestvensky. 

A few hours elapsed, then my watchfulness was re- 
warded. 

Away down on the horizon toward the northeast, 
there glittered out a row of twinkling lights, one 
behind the other, as though a lamp-lit thoroughfare 
had got afloat and drifted out to sea. 

The sinuous streak of lights, shifting as they ap- 
proached like the coils of some great water-snake, 
glided toward us at what seemed a fearful speed, and 
as they drew near the white lights were interspread 
with green and crimson points, like rubies and emer- 
alds set between rows of diamonds. And ever and 
anon the swift electric tongues of the searchlights 
spat forth and licked the dark face of the waters like 
hungry things. 

Keeping my upper deck just awash, I lay still and 
beheld at last the great black sides of the battleships 
tower up, pierced with illuminated windows. 

My heart began to throb wildly. If only the other 
submarine failed to appear ; if only the English fisher- 
men would realize their danger and flee in time, dis- 
aster might be averted. 

The hope had scarcely formed itself in my mind 
when Orloff, who had come to repose confidence in 
me, respectfully touched my arm and pointed ahead. 

293 



The International Spy 



Not two hundred yards from me, stealing along 
about a mile in advance of the Russian fleet, I per- 
ceived a small dark object, showing hardly a foot 
above the surface of the waves. 

It was the rival submarine I 

Instead of proceeding direct to the Dogger Bank, 
as I had done, the other boat must have joined Ad- 
miral Rojestvensky's squadron, and come on before it 
like a jackal pointing out the lion's prey. 

" Go forward,'^ I commanded the Gterman mate. 
" Let no one disturb me till this business is over.'' 

Orloff gave me a wondering look, but obeyed with- 
out an instant's hesitation. 

As soon as his back was turned, I swung the wheel 
around, put on the f uU power of the engines, and went 
after the craft I had been searching for during the 
last forty-eight hours. 

Had the commander of the other submarine noticed 
mine, and did he suspect my intention to frustrate his 
design ? It almost seemed so. His boat, scarcely visi- 
ble in the gloom, fled in front of me to where the fore- 
most fishing boats were riding lazily over the shoals, 
dragging their nets along the bottom. 

It was a weird chase. Neither of us showed a glint 
of light, or made the smallest sound. Like two great 
shadowing fish we darted through the depths of the 
sea, hunter and hunted. 

In between the sagging nets with their load of cod 

'2M 



Trafalgar Day 



and flounders, shot the phantom boat I was pursuing, 
and I followed, obliged to slacken speed as we twisted 
in and out under the keels of the unconscious fisher- 
men. 

And all this time the huge warships in two lines 
astern were plunging through the seas, heading 
straight for the unfortunate smacks. 

The chase seemed to be aware that it was a case of 
now or never. I was catching up with it fast ; I was 
able to mark its course by the broken water churned 
up by its propeller ; when, all at once, I saw it rise 
with the swift motion of a bird. 

I had no alternative but to do the same. 

As I emerged upon the surface I found my boat in 
the very center of the full glare of a search-light 
which lit up the whole scene with dazzling radiance. 

Fresh from the depths below, where all had been 
dark, my eyes fairly blinked in the sudden splendor 
of light. 

Then, for what might have been from three to five 
seconds, I saw everything that passed. 

The foremost vessels of the Russian fleet had al- 
ready gone past the group of drifting trawlers. One 
large cruiser was passing within a stone's-throw of 
the nearest fishing-boat, and the English fishermen 
were playfully holding up some of their freshly- 
caught fish, as though offering it to the Kussian 
sailors. 

295 



The International Spy 



Another line of warships was coming up behind, 
with its searchlights thrown out in front 

And then, right across the range of lights, and in a 
straight line between the Russian battle-ships and the 
English smacks, I saw the phantom torpedo boat pass 
deliberately, as high out of the water as she could 
show. 

What happened next took place so swiftly, and with 
such confusion that I cannot pretend to describe it 
with accuracy. 

Shouts rang out on some of the Russian ships, the 
submarine headed around as though to seek refuge 
among the trawlers, and then a gun was fired, and a 
cannon-ball struck the water within a few feet of me. 

All at once, it seemed to me, and as though by some 
preconcerted plan, half the ships of the Baltic Fleet 
opened fire on the English fishermen, who seemed too 
surprised and horrified to do anything. I saw baU 
after ball crash into one luckless smack, which quickly 
began to fill and sink. But, generally si)eaking, the 
marksmanship of the Russians was too wild for the 
firing to have serious effect. 

As soon as I realized that I had become a mark for 

the Russian guns I sank beneath the surface. It is 

no doubt this voluntary move on my part which has 

given rise to the belief cherished by some of the officers 

of the Baltic Fleet, and indorsed by Admiral Rojest- 

vensky, that a torpedo boat was sunk by their fire. 

20e 



Trafalgar Day 



But I knew that the massacre — ^for it was nothing 
less — ^would go on as long as the other submarine re- 
mained on the surface, mixing among the luckless 
fishing boats with the deliberate intention of drawing 
on them the Russian fire. 

I marked her course, put my engines to their full- 
est speed one more, and rushed after her. 

This time my coming was not watched by the hos- 
tile commander. Like Admiral Rojestvensky, he may 
have believed that my boat had been sunk by the 
ball which had come so close. Or else, perhaps, in 
his exultation at having brought about an event which 
seemed to make war inevitable, he had forgotten his 
former fears. 

But the truth will never be known. 

I brought my own boat right under the demon craft, 
and then, tilting her up at a sharp angle, rammed the 
other in the center of her keel. 

There was a concussion, a muffled sound of tearing 
iron, and as I backed away at full speed astern, I saw 
the waters of the North Sea pour through a long 
jagged rent in the bottom of the doomed submarine, 
and watched her go down staggering like a wounded 
vulture through the air. 

The shock of the collision had brought OrloflE and 
the rest of my crew nmning aft. 

" An accident,^' I explained coolly. " I have sunk 
some boat or other in the dark.'' 



The International Spy 



The men exchanged suspicious glances. 

" It was the other submarine, sir/' said Orloff, still 
preserving his respectful tone. " Will you permit us 
to see whether it is possible to save any of the crew ? '* 

" Do as you please," I returned, leaving the helm. 
" My work here is done, and I am ready to go back." 

I intended them to think I referred to the attack 
on the fishing-boats. The cannonade died away as I 
spoke. 

We went down through the water to where the 
wrecked submarine was lying half over on her side. 
Some frightened faces peered at us out of the upper 
portholes, where a supply of air still lingered. 

It was impossible to do anything for them down 
there without being swamped ourselves. We could 
only invite them by signs to forsake their own craft 
and let us carry them up to the surface where it would 
be safe for us to take them inside. 

In order to receive them on our upper deck we 
circled slowly around to the opposite side of their 
vessel. And there I beheld a sight which wiU haunt 
me for years to come. 

The whole side of the submarine had been wrenched 
open, revealing the interior of the cabin. And on the 
floor, lying in the peaceful attitude of one who had 
just resigned herself to sleep, I beheld the drowned 
form of the beautiful, desperate, i)erhaps wicked, but 
unhappy, woman from whose mad love I had fled. 

298 



Trafalgar Day 



So, in the midst of the wild North Sea, in their 
strange coffin, the bones of Sophia, Princess Temoloff, 
lie and rock on the incessant tides that sweep across 
the Dogger Bank. 

Requiescat in pace! 

As our boat, laden with the rescued survivors, shot 
up again to the surface, I felt a noosed rope drawn 
tightly around my throat and heard the voice of Or- 
loff hiss in my ear, 

" I arrest you in the name of the Kaiser I '' 



299 



CHAPTER XXXIT 



THE SAUILT BTATCTB 




3Y task is done. At last the reader knows 
all that ever will be known — all there 
is to know, in short — concerning the 
tragedy of the North Sea. 

My personal adventures can possess 
little interest after the all-important transactions I 
have had to describe. But in case there should bo 
a reader here and there who is good enough to feel 
any curiosity as to my fate, I will briefly tell what 
followed on my arrest. 

My revolver was taken from me and I was con- 
ducted under a strict guard back to Kiel, 

Off the mouth of the Canal we were boarded by a 
despatch-boat flying the German naval ensign, and 
a police officer with three men took me oflE the sub- 
marine. 

The first proceeding of my new captor was to hand- 
cuff me. He then warned me, 

" If you speak a single word to me or any one else 
till you are in the imperial presence, my orders are to 
shoot you through the head," 

I nodded. I had as littlo "ivish to apeak aa the Em- 



The Family Statute 



perop could have to let me. My thoughts were busy 
with the memory of the woman of whose tragic death 
I had been the unwitting cause, and with the meas- 
ures that remained to be taken to extenuate, so far as 
extenuation was possible, the fatal action of the Baltic 
fleet 

As for myself, I can say truly that I had become 
almost indifferent to what was in 6tore for me. My 
feeling toward the unfortunate Princess had not been 
such as that which makes a man desire a woman for 
his wife; it had not deserved the name of love, per- 
haps ; and it was certainly free from any taint of a 
less noble passion. 

Nevertheless it had been a powerful sentiment, col- 
ored and strengthened by my knowledge of her love 
for me. 

Sophia had loved me. She had saved my life. 
And I had taken hers in return. 

Must I accuse myself of weakness for feeling as if 
happiness for me were over, and the best fate I could 
wish would be to lie there beside my victim on the 
lonely Dogger sands ? 

When I came before Wilhelm II. he was not in the 
Hall of the HohenzoUems, indulging his vein of ex- 
travagant romance, but in his private cabinet and in 
his most stem and businesslike mood. 

" Give the prisoner a chair, and wait outside,'' his 
majesty commanded briefly. 

301 



The International Spy 



I sat down, still handcuffed, and the guards with- 
drew. 

" Now,^^ said the Kaiser, fixing me with an eagle 
glance, " be good enough to explain your proceedings." 

I met his look with a steadfast one in return. 

" I have carried out your majesty's orders scrup- 
ulously. I have taken out the submarine torpedo 
boat, engaged a crew, proceeded to the Dogger Bank, 
and drawn the fire of the Baltic Fleet on the fishing- 
boats from Hull. I have not seen a newspaper since, 
but I assume that the British Navy has already ar- 
rested Admiral Eojestvensky and his squadron, and 
that the two Powers are at war." 

The Kaiser gnawed his moustache. 

" Things have not gone quite so well as you pre- 
tend, M. Petrovitch. 

" The Russian cannonade ceased after a few min- 
utes," the Emperor resumed. " You did not remain 
on the surface after the first shot ; you did not launch 
your torpedo, neither did you permit the other sub- 
marine to do so. In fact you sunk her." 

"I had no orders with respect to another sub- 
marine, sire. I was entitled to treat it as an enemy." 

" Nonsense, you know that it had left Kiel before 
you, on the same errand." 

" On the contrary, sire, I could not possibly know 
anything of the kind." 

" Why, you saw it had disappeared from the dock. 



302 



The Family Statute 



You inquired after it along the Canal. When you 
got out to the Dogger you were searching for it the 
whole time." 

"And when I found it, sire, it was leading the 
Russian squadron, of which it appeared to form part. 
I had every right to assume that it was a Russian man- 
of-war." 

" A German boat ! " thundered the Kaiser. 

" A boat not flying any flag must be presumed to 
belong to the country of those who are in control of it. 
I found this submarine under the control of a Russian 
subject." 

" The Princess was my agent." 

" Your majesty had not told me so. On the con- 
trary, I understood that you wished my own boat 
to be considered a Russian vessel, in case of any ques- 
tion. I shipped a Russian crew therefore." 

Wilhelm II. frowned angrily. 

" Do not play with me, M. Petrovitch. I know all 
about your crew. Explain why you, a Russian sub- 
ject, should have attacked what you are pleased to pre- 
tend was a Russian ship." 

" I regret to have to say that your majesty is labor- 
ing under a mistake. I am not a Russian subject." 

This time the Kaiser was fairly taken aback. 

" What subject are you ? " 

" A Japanese." 

Wilhelm looked thunderstruck. 

303 



The International Spy 



" Japanese ! ^' was all he could say. 

" If your majesty pleases. That being so, as soon 
as I took possession of the submarine, with your per- 
mission, of course it became a Japanese ship." 

"What you tell me is monstrous — ^ridiculoua 
Tour name is Russian, your face is at least Euro- 
pean." 

" My name, sire, is Matsukata. I received it in 
Tokio at the commencement of the war, on being 
adopted into a Japanese family. 

" If your majesty doubts my statement, I ask to 
be confronted with the Japanese Ambassador in Ber- 
lin." 

The Kaiser looked as if he would have liked to 
doubt it, but found himself unable to do so. 

" Then on your own showing you are a Japanese 
spy," he pronounced slowly. " As such I am entitled 
to have you shot." 

" Pardon me again, sire. In Petersburg I admit, 
that was my character. In Germany I have been 
your majest/s agent, and have literally fulfilled your 
commands." 

" Tou are a very acute quibbler, I see," was the re- 
tort, "but quibbles will not save you. Tou have 
stolen one of my ships to sink another with, and 
at the very least you deserve to be hanged as a 
pirate." 

" I demand to be tried," I said boldly, knowing that 

304 



Tlie Family Statute 



this was the one step to which the Emperor, for his 
own sake, could not consent 

As I expected, he frowned uneasily. 

" In this case I must exercise my right of refusing 
a civil trial, in the interest of the State. I will give 
you a court-martial with closed doors." 

" Thai would be illegal, sire." 

" Tou dare to tell me so I " 

"Tour majesty will find I am right. The case 
falls within the HohenzoUem Family Statute." 

The Kaiser appeared stupefied. 

" The Family Statute ? " he repeated slowly, as if 
unable to believe his ears. " What has the Statute to 
do with you ? " 

" It is provided in the Statute, if I recollect rightly, 
sire, that a member of the Imperial Family can be 
tried only by his peers, that is to say, by a court com- 
posed of members of your majesty's House." 

" Well, and what then ? " 

*^ By another clause in the Statute — ^I regret that 
the number has escaped my memory — ^the privileges 
of a Hohenzollern in that respect are extended to 
members of other reigning Houses.^' 

" What are you going to teU me ? " Wilhelm 11. 
demanded in amazement. 

^* Only that I have the honor to be the adopted son 
of his imperial highness Prince Torimo, cousin to 
his majesty the Emperor of Japan." 

305 



The International Spy 



The German monarch sat still, unable to parry this 
unexpected blow. 

" The Japanese Ambassador — " he began to mut- 
ter. 

" Will confirm my statement, sire. I have abeady 
asked to be confronted with him. Before going to 
Kiel, I sent him information of my plans, so that he 
is already expecting to hear from me, I have no 
doubt." 

Wilhelm II. saw that he had come to the end of 
his tether. Lying back in his chair, he ejaculated 

" I believed there was only one man in the two 
hemispheres who could do things like this ! " 

" I am flattered to think you may be right, sire," I 
responded in my natural voice, with a smile. 

The Emperor bounded from his seat. 

" Tou — ^are — ^Monsieur V 1 " he fairly gasped 

out. 

" I was, sire. Permit me to repeat that I am now 
called Prince Matsukata of Japan." 

Wilhelm II. made an effort, and came out of it with 
his best manner. 

" Then, in that case, you will stay and lunch with 
the Empress and myself, my dear Prince." 

As soon as the handcuffs had been removed, I told 
the whole story to the Kaiser, who was immensely 
interested, and decidedly touched by the part which 
related to the drowned Princess. 

306 



Tlie Family Statute 



Before leaving the Palace, I asked permission of 
my imperial host to make use of his private wire for 
a message to London, in the interest of peace. 

Wilhelm II., who began to see that he had been be- 
trayed into going a little farther than was altogether 
desirable, consented in the friendliest spirit, merely 
stipulating that he should be allowed to see the mes- 
sage. 

He was rather surprised when he found it was ad- 
dressed to Lord Bedale at Buckingham Palace, and 
comprised a single word, " Elsinore.^' 

And so, although some of the newspapers in the 
two capitals of England and Bussia continued to 
breathe war for some days longer, I felt no more 
anxiety after reading the paragraph which stated that 
the British Prime Minister, at the close of the de- 
cisive Cabinet Council, had driven to the Palace to 
be received in private audience by her majesty Queen 
Alexandra. 



307 



1 




EPILOQUE 

f S I 'Write these lines the war whicb has 
cost so many brave lives, and carried 
80 much deaolation through the fields 
and cities of Manchuria ia still raging. 
The great fleet of Admiral Eojest- 
vensky, from which the stains of the innocent fisher- 
man's hlood have not yet been washed, is plowing 
its way to meet a terrible retribution at the hands of 
the victorious Togo.* A curse is on that fleet, and 
it may be that the British Government foresaw that 
they could punish the crime of the Dogger Bank 
more terribly by letting it proceed, than by bring- 
ing it into Portsmouth to await the result of the 
international trial. 

In the great affairs of nations it is not always wise 
to exact strict justice, or to expose the actual truth. 

I, too, am a lover of peace. Not of that hysterical, 
sentimental horror of bloodshed which would place a 
great civilized nation at the mercy of more barbaroos 



• These words, which have been proven prophetic, were ■written 
last March, when Admiral BojestTonsky's fleet was still a very 
fonaidable fact to be reckoned witL— Ediiok 



Epilogue 



powers, which would stay the wheels of progress, and 
be indistinguishable from cowardice in the face of 
wrong. 

But I am a friend of the peace which is the natural 
result of a better understanding between peoples, of 
respect for one another's character and aims, of a wise 
recognition of facts, and an honorable determination 
not to play the part of the aggressor. 

It is in the hope of promoting such a peace on 
e«irth, and such good-will toward men, that I have 
allowed myself to publish the foregoing narrative. 

In order to soften the character of this revelation 
I have endeavored to impart to it a character of ro- 
mance. 

So far as my abilities extend, I have sought to give 
the reader the impression that he has been reading 
an allegory rather than a dry, business record. I 
have tried to cover certain incidents with a discreet 
veil. I have as much as possible refrained from using 
real names. 

I trust that my narration will be accepted in the 
spirit in which it has been written and that no reader 
will allow his feelings of curiosity to lead him into 
going further, or raising questions which it might be 
indiscreet on my part to answer. 

But there is one r)art of the story to which the fore- 
going remarks do not apply. 

Whatever else be mythical, there is nothing mythi- 

309 



The International Spy 



cal about the bright figure whose portrait has accom- 
panied me through so many perils. There is a home 
for me in far-off Tokio, and when the blood-begrimed 
battalions of Asia sheathe their swords, I shall go 
thither to claim my reward. 



THE BND 



310 



What CHUcs Say of 

"THE BLACK MOTOR CAR" 

Bf HAKRB BURLAKD 



"*Aatper, malice, asd all nncharitableneBS ftgtire koifely in this 
jeasatloiiai norel, set to a modem keynote, that of a motor car. An 
embesiler entered prison, a man who had lost his honor, bat retained 
many good traits. After fourteen years he emerged a rarening beast, 
and b^;an to take his revenge on the world." — The Ouihok, 

**A melodramatic story of the intense and lurid kind, with not 
much motoring in it until the last chapter, which is given to a thrilling 
description of a night ride for life, ending in tragedy." 

— Philadelphia Evening Telegraph, 

** There is something fascinating before opening the book to glanc* 
al die ontside cover and absorb the meaning of a striking picture of a 
gleaming auto with its eyes of fire generated through headlights, while 
on the driver's seat sits a black-bearded man with a sinister aspect tliat 
at once suggests action. The story develops in aristocratic England, and 
there is plenty of coloring and rapid-fire action." — Portland Oregonian, 

** There is a * go' in Harris Burland's novel *The Black Motor 
Car' as well as in the car itself. There are * things doing' in every 
chapter." — Cleveland Plaindealer, 

*' The author manages to keep one's interest at fever height until 
tiie veiy last line. It is a rapid transit romance with a vengeance." 

"^Philadelphia Item, 

*' In the way of exciting fiction there could be nothmg more dis- 
creetly sensational than this story. It fairly bristles with wonderful 
kicidents in which a woman who has betrayed a lover, dishonest for her 
take, is pursued relentlessly by her victim. ^ Those who like their fiction 
well spiced with stirring and surprising mcident will appreciate this 
femarkable story." — Boston Budget and Beacon, 

** Excitement, mystery and horror in every chapter, sensational 
devek)pments following each other in rapid succession, make tip a story 
that will delight anyone who loves exciting literature. The plot is a 
cross work of various interests and the story is well written. The 
interest is]sastained to the last." — Louisville Courier-Journal, 

** We would not like to say how many automobile stories are now in 
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will be more hair-raising than Mr. Burland's book." — Rochester Herald, 

** Highly sensational, with a plot full of surprises and crasuned 
with excitement from start to finish, the book may be recommended to 
those who like a story which travels at a whirling pace." 

— Boston Herald. 

** Snspense and horror compel the reading of this story to the very 
Isst word. The events related are of so novd and exciting a character 
and follow each other with such rapidity that when the final climax is 
rssched the reader feels as if he, too, had been whirled along im tiie mad 
ffigfat o£ the terrible car with its fierce and gloomy owmsr." 

— Uti€m Chmrwtr. 

I2tu0, S}i X 7^ inches, 339paget, cloth kound^ iUmirmitd, fl.)*. 

Gw W. DILLINGHAM CO^ PtiU2shcf«» NKWYORK 



▼HAT THE CRITICS SAY OF 

THE MIDDLE WALL 

By EDWARD MARSHALL. 



*'Mr Marshall has not only written a tale which Clark Russell 
might envy from his own vantage ground, but one which is in style a 
sort of mixture of Conan Doyle and Robert Ban*. There is a delicious 
humor of extravagance and a lot of detective work in the book which 
makes it a compound of the three persons mentioned. It is as readable 
as anything that has been publisheid this year." — Philadelphia Inquirer, 

'*In these days of many publications and few engrossing books, 
* The Middle Wall * should find many interested readers, for from start 
to finish there is delightful adventure both by flood and field, character 
sketching far above the ordinary, and a love story of as healthful a type 
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** Captain Burgee's Epigrams are the essence of truth, arrived at by 
acute observation. He does not confine himself to nautical details, but 
commits his sound philosophy to his log-book in extenso." — Philadelphia 
North American, 

George V. Hobart, author of the famous ** John Henry" books, 
says of it : ** A better book than * David Harum.* The character of 
Captain Burgee excels that of David Harum." 

*' Edward Marshall has told his melodramatic, ingenious tale in a 
brisk and easy style, and produced a capital story well worth reading.*' 
'—Boston Herald, 

•* As a story teller he cannot be improved upon, and whether one is 
looking for humor, philosophy, pathos, wit, excitement, advencure or 
love, he will find it aplenty in this capital tale." — Albany Times-Union, 

*' The plot of the book is a model of ingenious complications that 
never weary in their unexpected revealments." — Boston Beacon, 

*' Full of life and action and intensely interesting throughout. "—• 
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 

•' Sure to be a good seller.'* — Boston Transcript, 



i2mo. Cloth-bound, Illustrated. 



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THE MAXnrO OF A SUCCESSFUL HUSBAlfD 

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^piestions of ''spending and saving/' ''boarding or keeping 
bouse/' "the wife's allowance," '*dollars and debts," "the 
wife's relations," etc. It is filled with witty epigrams. It is 
a book that should find a place in every home. 12mo. doth 
bound, $1.0a 



ns MAKING OF A SUCCESSFUL WIFE 

By Casper S. Yost. A companion book to "The U<Jnwg of |^ 
8uccessf\il Husband." With the same quaint himuxr and 
homely wisdom that characterized his letters to his son in 
"The Making of a Successful Husband," Jolm Sneed has 
written to his daughter. In a series of ten f atheriy communi- 
satjons he gives her t<he results of his experience and observsr 
tkm. His advice is sage and praotieu. Being a man he 
natutiHy looks at the snbject from a man's standpcHnt, a view 
which m% woman can possibly secure of henself. 12mo, ck^ 
bomd, $1j09. 



By W. B. M. Fei^Bon. A racing story of imtense btSDaa lAtenst^ 
Garrison, the josks;^, is occt^kl of "throwing a race/' but in 
tibs end vindicates himself aad rides a lemarkabk race, winning 
favcr and fortune and the girl he loves. Illustrations by 
Cluules tomwald. 12bbo> b e autifu lly bound in doth, tlJO- 



CHIP OF THB FLYING U 

Ajr Bb H fiowu; From the openiDg chaf^ to iim latt M^d an 
eminent critie pioBOunoeB it as ''equal if xu3t better tnaa tl» 
'Virginian.'" The name of B. M. Bower wiU itaad for 

something readable in the estimation of every man and afaBost 
•veiy woman who reads this story of Montana ranch aad its 
dwellers. Illustrated^ 12mo, cloth bound, $1.25. 

THE RANGE DWELLERS. A Thrilling Western Story 

By B. M. Bower, author of "Chip of the Flying U." It is a 
thoroughly live story, with plenty of local color well laid on. 
Its people have marked cnaracteristics, its scenes change 
rapioly, it possesses breeziness and a wealth of wholesome love, 
and its conclusion is satisfying. 12mo9 doth bound, iUua- 
trated, $1.25. 

HER PRAIRIE E3nGHT 

By B. M. Bower, author of "Chip of the Flying V," "The Range 
Dwellers/' etc. A breezy, western ranch story. It sparkles 
in reproducing the atmosphere of the West. Strong keart 
interest and a beautifully pictured love story make it a most 
charming book and a fit companion to "Chip'' and "The 
Range Dwellers." 12moy doth bound, widi ulustratiMMi in 
three colors, $1.25* 

THE LURE OF THE DIM TRAILS 

By B. M. Bower, author of "Chip of the Flying U," "M&r Phriiie 
Knight/' "The Range Dwellers/' etc. A living, breathing 
story of the West, out beyond the Mississippi, where the trails 
of men are dim and far apart. This is the best story that the 
author of "Chip of the Flying U " has written, and the three 
full-page three-color drawings, and over thirty pen and ink mar- 
ginal pictures by Charles M. Russell (the cowooy artist), with 
which the book is embellished, make it a handsome book. 
12mo, doth bound, decorative cover, $1.50. 

WHERE THE RED VOLLEYS POURED. ARomaxiee 
of the Civil War 

By Charles W« Dahlinger, The patriotism, ehivalry, and romaaso 
of the most eventful period in American histor^y, vividly 
presented in the character and experiences of a typical soldier 
of the time — ^Paul Didier, a German revolutionary exile, who 
enlists in the Union cause. The story begins with reminisoenoe 
of the same natiu^ and in the same channing vein as Gad 
Sekura's recent autobiography. It insidiously devdops into a 
love romance, which is complicated by the nero's provokinc 
susceptibility to feminine charms. A solution is finalqr iiittdisfl 
amid the thunders of Gettysburg, a battie which the i^*^" 
dsfwibe s with this p«i ol a dv^maUo faistcvkai 1Sb% 

HMMiMtt tL0|L 



TRAFFIC. The Story of a Faitfafal Womail 

By B. Temple Thttrston. author of ''The Apple of Edm.* Do 
you want to meet a cDaraoter that will hold yovat uympMAm 
spellbound? Do ^ou want to oome faoe to face witn somtt ot 
tne knotty, searcmngproblems of our modem life? The recKler 
will find all this in "Iraffic/' one of the biggest and most ooin- 
pelling stories of the past decade. Throu^out Nanno Troy's 
life problem is interwoven that question which is to-day of such 
absorbing interest: the attitude of the Church towfurd divorce. 
In no work of modem fiction is this attitude and its tendenoies 
more graphically portrayed. 12mo^ cloth bound, $1.50. 



IHB STORY OF PAUL JONES 

By Alfred Henry Lewis. Thousands and tens of thousands 
should welcome this charming historical romance. It is a 
great story of the fortunes of the intrepid sailor whose remains 
are now in America. A story that should find a place ih every 
library, for it is the best book that Mr. Lewis has yet produced. 
It has a grip and a fascination that will last long after the 
reader has emerged from its delightful spell* 12mo, cloth 
bound, illustrated, $1.50. 



TONIO, SON OF THE SIERRAS 

By General Charles King. This thrilling frontier story has for its 
central figure a young army girl with two lovers, brother 
officers and classmates, and an Indian chief of the Chief Joseph 
type, honorable, incorruptible, but dragged, as was Joseph, 
into a net of testimony and intrigue that nearly wrecked hinu 
12mo, cloth bound, illustrated, $1.50. 



THE LINCOLN STORY BOOK 

Compiled by Henry L. Williams. A judicious collectioH of tlie 
best stories and anecdotes of the great President, many, of the 
more than 600, appearing herein for the first time, l&o, J20 
pages, cloth boimd, $1.50 net. Postage 14 cents. 

WHAPS IN A DREAM. A Scientific and Practical 
Interpretation of Dreams 

By Oustavus Hindman Miller. The most complete and exhaustive 
work that has ever been written on this subject — it contains 
over 10,000 dreams. The author has used material from the 
Bible, classical sources, and medieval and modem philosophers. 
Quotations have been made from Camille Flammarion's ''Uih 
Imown." The Preface is a valuable feature of the book and 
touobes in an interesting way, on the metaphysical JSlmf 
^ Ihomlii SchooL 12m(^ oad pagoa^ ek^ bowd. «iia 



KATHBRINE'S SHEAVES 

Bj Mrs. George Sheldon Downs. The author tells im s most 
fascinating manner of Katherine's trials and triumphs which 
cannot fail to hold the interest of the reader, even though she 
is not in sympathy with Katherine's cause. This book places 
Mrs. Downs in the front rank of those who have written popular 
scientific novels. Cloth bound, $1.25. 

STEP BY STEP 

By Mrs. George Sheldon Downs, author of ''Katherine's Sheaves.** 
Judged as a story, pure and simple, "Step by Step " is altogether 
delightful.^ But it is not merely a charming piece of fiction. 
Ethical in its nature, the underlying thought shows throughout 
the lofty purpose and high ideals of the author and exhales a 
wholesome atmosphere, while the element of romance per- 
vading it is both elevated and enriched by its purity a3l 
simplicity. 12mo, cloth bound, illustrated, $1.50. 

THE GOLD WORSHGDPERS 

By Harris Burland. Author of "The Black Motor Car," "The 
Financier," etc. In the way of exciting fiction there could be 
nothing more discreetly sensational than this story. It fairl/ 
bristles with wonderful incidents. Those who like their fiction 
weU spiced with stirring and surprising incident will appreciate 
this remarkable story for it is crammed with excitement from 
start to finish, and is recommended to those who like a story 
which travels at a whirUng pace. 12mo, cloth bound, illus- 
trated, $1.50. 

THE BATTLE OF THE WEAK 

By Mrs. Henry Dudeny. The life tragedy of a pure woman 
whom circumstances have mated to the wrong man. A vivid, 
absorbing and exquisitely told love story, with a strong heart 
interest that will appeal irresistibly to every woman, and 
written by a master hand with a literary power, keenness oi 
observation, admirable analysis and characterization, and a 
wealth of exciting episode that will delight and hold the 
reader. The book well deserves to rank with the highest in 
modem fiction. 12mo, cloth boimd, illustrated, $1.50. 

THE BOTTOM OF THE WELL 

By Frederick Upham Adams, Author of " John Burt," " The K3d- 
napped Millionaires," " John Henry Smith," etc. The reading 
puDuc which has been awaiting this lon^ promised book from 
Mr. Adams wotdd not thank us for lifting the curtain whieh 
ooneeais the mysteries contained in the grim walls of "The 
WeU," neither would we be excused for hinting at the natuie 
of Amos Buckingham's task in "The Laboratory." This bs- 
markable book has a grip and a fascination which will last Joaf 
alter ths raader has aniiurgsd from its dsUgbt^d viL 
doth b0HidL Hhiilmtadt lUO. 



IKEY'S LETTERS TO HIS FATHER 

By the author of " John Henry/* etc. A clever compilation of 
letters written by a young man on his first tour as a traveling 
salesman for his father. The youn^ man seems to know 
eversrthing but business, and he nnds it fiard to explain to his 
parent that he must spend monev to increase the reputation 
of the house. He falls in love with a hotel typewriter and goes 
broke at the races. His father teUs him that "a blonde type- 
writer and a busy bee have the same charact€»ristics — ana if 
Tou don't know what that is go ahead and get stung." He 
ually orders him home. 12mo, doth bound, 75 cents. 

EXTRA DRY. Being Further Adventures of the Water 
Wagon 

By Bert Leston Taylor and W. C. Gibson, authors of "The Log 
of the Water Wagon." In "Extra Dry " the literary plumbers 
have again donned their overalls, rolled up their deeves and 
hammered out a prime job of ragtime plumbing. Unique 
illustrations in color by L. M. Glackens. Bound in checkered 
doth, 75 cents. 

BEAT IT 

By Hugh McHogh. The latest and best from the greatest mirth 
provoking writer, George V. Hobart, whose "Jolm Henry" 
books have already sold nearly 700,000 copies. Cloth bound, 
gilt top, illustrated, 75 cents. 

FLIP FLAP FABLES 

By Frank E. Kellogg. A bunch of twenty-seven hiunorous tales 
concerning animals of various kinds, from which may be 
deducted many morals, doth boimd, illustrated by Louis F. 
Grant, 75 cents. 

SETH JONES OF ITEW HAMPSHIRE 

By Edward S. EUis. This sterling old story p>ublished as a dime 
novel nearly 50 years ago, now carefully revised and practically 
rewritten, through many requests to its author and much 
editorial controversy, is here reproduced. Over 400,000 
copies were sold which made it one of the most popular novels 
ever published. 12mo, cloth bound, illustrated, $1.25. 

THE SHERIFF OF WASCO 

By Charles Ross Jackson. A vigorous Western romance, a brave 
girl two days alone in the Olympic mountains of Washington 
with a desperate outlaw, rescuea in fascinating and romantio 
manner by the fighting Sheriff of Wasco. The Sheriff's strong 
and tender love story sooB develops. The mountaineers, the 
woodsmen and the Indians lead great charm to this Ameriean 
noveL 12mo, cloth boimd, illustrated, $1.50. 



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